Alessandro Del Piero: Records And Relevance

Posted on 19/10/2010

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Respected throughout the world as a striker of undoubted class, Alessandro Del Piero equalled Giampiero Boniperti’s club record of 178 goals against Lecce this weekend & did so having played fewer games than his illustrious predecessor. That the record has stood for 40 years & also puts the current captain into the all-time top ten scorers in Serie A history is a source of further pride.
However, as Henry Ford would have it, “history is more or less bunk”. Football today, more than ever before, is written in the here & now. With that in mind it is perhaps reassurring to fans of Juventus that the man currently writing history every time he steps on the field is still having a major impact on games today.
“Teach your young teammates what Juventus is. Explain to them the pride of wearing this shirt and what being hungry for victory means” – Boniperti to Del Piero
Anyone watching Roma this weekend cannot help but notice one of Del Piero’s peers, Francesco Totti, having the game pass him by & looking more & more like his best days are behind him. While the Juventus man is also clearly in the twilight of his career, he is far from finished.
In fact IMScouting – one of the football world’s leading information & statistical databases – ranks him as the most efficient attacking player in the Europa League so far this term. Weighing up the number of goals & assists contributed against the number of minutes played in the competition so far, the site has the soon-to-be 36 year old top of the list.

Del Piero has already scored three times in the former UEFA Cup, & created another three for his team-mates. On average he has recorded either a goal or a direct assist every 56 minutes, testament to his fitness, experience, dedication & above all the level of impact he still offers to the team in this, his 18th season as a Juventus player.
While touching Boniperti is a clear indication of both his longevity & skill it is perhaps, like all the other club records he owns, something to be enjoyed after he calls time on this most illustrious of careers. Being a vital component of today’s side is arguably more important right now to a man who has suffered through terrible injury, disgraceful treatment from Fabio Capello & the relegation of 2006.
The other pleasing aspect in all of this is, unlike seasons past, Juventus are not relying on their Captain. Yes his experience helps, particularly in Europe, but la vecchia Signora has other men making major contributions alongside him. Milos Krasic has been a revelation on the right, Felipe Melo has remembered how to play the game & Alberto Aquilani is rediscovering his Roma form, imposing his personality on the Juventus midfield.
Much like when he first broke into the team & went on to replace Roberto Baggio, Del Piero is part of a well functioning team. No longer burdened with inferior team mates he is not being asked to carry the side, merely to play his part, an ideal role & one in which he is thriving.
His contract may expire in the summer, & speculation over how much longer he can remain at the highest level continues every day. On this evidence however, Beppe Marotta would be well advised to get his signature on an extension. Alessandro Del Piero, one of footballs true gentlemen, has plenty left to give to the Old Lady.
Source: Il tifosi
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