Alessandro Del Piero has chosen not to renew his contract with Australian A-League side Sydney FC with both the club and player confirming the news through released statements earlier today.
The former Juventus hero’s original two-year contract had expired earlier this month after Sydney FC’s play-off elimination at the hands of Melbourne Victory, and the player has now called time on his adventure down under, confirming the news on his official website:
My adventure with Sydney FC is about to be concluded, and, even if it makes me rather sad, because I have had wonderful time here, I have communicated my decision to the club.
I’m really grateful for the last two years and for the club’s request for me to remain and with whom, I am happy to explore new opportunities to continue our relationship. It hasn’t been an easy choice, also because my life on and off the pitch has been fantastic, my family and I have really enjoyed these two wonderful years: Australia will remain in our hearts forever.
My greatest satisfaction is the rapid growth of the Australian football movement, with interest increasing incredibly for the public, television and sponsors, in this country, considered to be an undisputed role model in the world of sportive culture (both for athletes and spectators), the passion for this sport , that I love so much, is constantly growing.
The famous number 10 was a huge coup for Australia’s domestic league, impacting both off and on the pitch where he scored 24 goals over two seasons. The Sydney FC club statement read:
Two years ago Sydney FC signed one of the greatest players to have ever worn a football shirt, Alessandro Del Piero.
At the time, if you had said Del Piero would be playing in Australia, few people would have believed it possible. His signing was the biggest in Australian football history and it lifted Sydney FC and the A-League on to the world stage.
Together we have achieved a lot and Sydney FC has grown in every way, with record crowds and memberships and huge interest in our club both domestically and internationally. Today is bittersweet. While we would have liked to see Alessandro remain at Sydney, his decision now allows us to further our discussions about some exciting new opportunities for our ongoing relationship and to build on the legacy that has been started.
On behalf of everyone at Sydney FC I would like to say thank you to Alessandro for the enormous contribution he has made to our club over the last two years. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have him at our club and we look forward to seeing him in the near future when he is next back in Sydney.
Del Piero concluded his statement wonderfully, writing:
I will remain a bit ‘Australian’, and will continue to be close to the football movement in this country and the Australian Football Federation, also as ambassador of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, that will take place right here next year. See ya mates.