Del Piero aims for quality with Sydney FC
Italian and Juventus legend Alessandro del Piero is aiming for quality rather than quantity when it comes to match time in Sydney FC's A-League opener against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
The 31-year-old striker arrived to a blustery Wellington welcome on Friday afternoon, ready for his first A-League match after signing a two-year contract at Sydney FC for a reported $4 million.
Del Piero scored 290 goals in 19 years with Juventus and was part of Italy's World Cup-winning team of 2006, the highlight of a 13-year international career.
But he's had limited pre-season training and match practice since arriving in Australia three weeks ago, and is reluctant to make rash promises about playing a full 90 minutes on Saturday.
"It depends - the flight and all, it depends. I'll try to play first of all good, then we watch the minutes," he said.
Del Piero admits to feeling under pressure to perform, given his price tag and reputation, but says that's nothing new.
"That's normal, it's right like that," he said.
Sydney FC coach Ian Crook has yet to settle on a starting line-up but is expected to include Del Piero despite his lack of time to build up match fitness.
"We would have loved to have another week, two weeks or three weeks, but that isn't the situation," Crook said.
"We've said all along it's a long-term project. He's not here on a short guest stint.
"But we feel he's got enough quality to be able to give us something different."