Wednesday, December 24, 2008

There Goes My Hero. Watch him as he goes.

A little vector piece I made in honor of my all-time favorite Calcio player: Alessandro Del Piero.

This man is a living legend. He has pretty much won everything there is to win for a football player. 7 Italian leagues (minus 2 that were later stripped from the club thanks to the match-fixing scandal the Juventus directors were involved with), 1 UEFA Champions League (and appeared in 3 other finals), 1 Intercontinental Cup, 2006's FIFA World Cup... all he is missing is the EURO Cup, and the Golden Ball. At age 34 it is unlikely he will get those 2 final trophies, but with him you never know.

He is one of an endangered species in the sense he has spent his entire career in the same football club. He is the flag of the team, the captain, the most important player in the history of the biggest, winningest club of the Italian League. Juventus has seen the likes of Gaetano Scirea, Omar Sivori, Giampiero Boniperti, Michel Platini. Del Piero has played side-by-side with guys like Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane, Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, etc. and he hass always been the "go to" man in the field.

He is currently playing some of his best football. He is not quite as fast as he was in the mid-90's, but in exchange he seems to be much more smarter, more of a commanding leader, and he still scores aplenty. So many times he has been written off, considered finished, and he has proven all his detractors wrong, over and over again.

Not many stars would do what he did in 2006, after Juventus was relagated to 2nd division, due to the Calciopoli scandal. While most of the players of that star-studded team decided to jump ship, and seek greener pastures elsewhere, Del Piero stayed, like he was supposed to, and even managed to talk some other stars, even guys who had won the World Cup just a few months earlier, into staying and follow him into the purgatory that would be the Italian Serie B. He, along with Nedved, Camoranesi, Buffon and Trezeguet made it so that, what some thought was improbable, became a reality. Juventus was back in Serie A just a season later, and in no time they were fighting for the Italian title again.

Like it or not, he is in the final stages of his career, no matter how good he is playing today, he wont be playing beyond age 40. At least I don't think a striker should be playing at that age. When that day comes, when the Del Piero era comes to an end in Juventus, I can't imagine how that would be like. I know that, for me at least, it will never be the same again. I will always be a Juventino, but for as long as I've been a fan Del Piero has been there. Thankfully, we still have a few years before that happens.

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