'Well-prepared' Del Piero checks-in India, heads to training base
To the few uninitiated Alessandro Del Piero, garlanded with marigold, was mistaken for a Hollywood star before the many football aficionados sent across the message that the biggest attraction of the inaugural Indian Super League has just landed in Delhi.sports Updated: Sep 18, 2014 18:58 IST
To the few uninitiated Alessandro Del Piero, garlanded with marigold, was mistaken for a Hollywood star before the many football aficionados sent across the message that the biggest attraction of the inaugural Indian Super League has just landed in the capital.
Soon after arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi on Thursday, the 2006 Italian World Cup winner and Juventus legend, looking dapper in a light brown suit and sky blue shirt, headed for the training ground to meet his Delhi Dynamos teammates.
The 39-year-old will be turning out for Dynamos as their marquee player in the much-awaited franchise-based league, to be held in various venues across the country.
"I want to start training and am eager to meet my coach, teammates, staff and everyone involved. I am very excited to have come to India," Del Piero told reporters moments after his Emirates flight landed at Terminal 3.
"Just landed in New Delhi, I'm well prepared for a new beginning?Ale," the handsome Del Piero wrote on his twitter handle.
Delhi Dynamos tweeted: "Del Piero joins team at training ground, straight from the airport."
A Juventus legend for life, Del Piero was accompanied by his brother and a photographer friend, and was seen signing on footballs.
Del Piero, who was also negotiating for a stint with Hungarian club, Honved FC, before opting for the Delhi franchise, is also one of the brand ambassadors of the cash-rich tournament.
Del Piero, also nicknamed 'Il Fenomeno Vero' or The Real Phenomenon, is the 10th all-time top-scorer in the Champions League and has featured in FIFA 100, a list of the top greatest living footballers compiled by Pele.
He has played alongside greats like Gianluigi Buffon and Zinedine Zidane, and managed to stand out. He arrived in Turin as a teenager in 1993 and spent 19 years, including 11 years as captain, at Serie A giants Juventus.
With Juventus, Del Piero won eight Serie A titles, a Champions League and a Coppa Italia. He has 91 international caps with the Azzuris and is remembered for scoring the second goal in the semifinal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup.
He later scored in the penalty shootout in the final against France, giving Italy its fourth World Cup title.
In all, Del Piero represented Italy in seven major international tournaments (Euro 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008; World Cup 1998, 2002, 2006), the second Italian footballer after Paolo Maldini to do so.
In 2012, Del Piero left Turin to join Sydney FC in the Australia A-League, and parted ways in April.