Today, Tuesday May 11, 2010, the day that Italian national team coach Marcello Lippi announced his provisional 30 man world cup squad is a day that should be always remembered in Italian soccer history. This is because it is the day that a legend of Italian soccer's career has been brought to an end forever. This man's name is Alessandro Del Piero.
Beginning his international career in 1995, at the age of 20, Del piero has participated in every major tournament for Italy since Euro 1996. He is currently tied with legend Roberto Baggio as Italy's 4th highest goal scorer with 27 national team goals in 91 appearances.
Although the Juventus legend had his share of ups and downs in the Azzurri shirt, no one can deny his worth to his country, and Del Piero should be easily regarded as one of the best Italian soccer players of all time. Perhaps more impressive then his football skills was his loyalty and dedication. Del Piero fought through adversity, the toughest odds, and serious injuries to make himself the best he could be for only 2 teams for the last 17 years. Those teams were Juventus and Italy.
Well some called for his inclusion in Italy's 2010 world cup squad, including Del Piero himself, these calls were denied officially today when the 30 man squad was announced. Thus, the international career of the legend Alex Del Piero has been called to a close.
Del Piero is a man who shall forever be remembered in the hearts of Italian soccer fans. Although he was unfortunately denied one last chance on the international stage, his good moments, including his goal against Germany in 2006 and winning the world cup should always be remembered.
Farewell, and thanks, Alessandro Del Piero