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May, 22, 2010

Del Piero welcomes new era at Juventus

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has welcomed the club's new manager Gianluigi Del Neri with open arms, insisting that it "must be a new beginning" for the Bianconeri.

Del Piero has been part of the club's most miserable season since being demoted to Serie B in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.

Juventus finished 7th in Serie A, exited the Champions League at the group stage and were knocked out of the Europa League by Fulham, but there have been changes afoot at the club.

Andrea Agnelli was appointed as the club's new president, Beppe Marotta was named director general and Del Neri was hired as a replacement for Alberto Zaccheroni.

And the new-look management team behind the club gives Del Piero much cause for optimism.

"It is time to give our welcome to those who begin their journey with Juventus," Del Piero wrote on his official website. "Welcome to the president, the new directors and new coach.

"The campaign will begin soon and we must face it from the start with the utmost determination and hunger for victory, so we can leave behind the recent disappointments."

"I also reserve a thought for those who are leaving their posts and shared some of this journey with us," continued Del Piero.

"Now we are setting off for the United States and the final two games before we go on holiday. In just over a month, we begin again. And it really must be a new beginning."

Del Neri joined the Bianconeri from Sampdoria earlier this week, though caretaker manager Zaccheroni will continue to take charge of Juventus on their two-game tour of the USA.

Juventus will begin their season earlier than anyone else in Serie A, entering the Europa League at the preliminary qualifying stage.

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