Del Piero ready to lead Sydney FC
He captained Italian powerhouse Juventus to six national titles - now Alessandro Del Piero wants to skipper Sydney FC to his first A-League championship in what could be his final season in Australia.
The 38-year-old soccer superstar was on Wednesday unveiled as the Sky Blues' new captain, replacing foundation player Terry McFlynn after three seasons at the helm.
McFlynn will join Brett Emerton as a vice-captain for the 2013/2014 campaign, which kicks off on October 11.
While coach Frank Farina admitted his marquee star was reluctant to accept the role at first, Del Piero warmed to the idea.
"I'm very happy and I will give everything - from my knowledge and experience - to have my team win the title, to fight in the playoffs and to be the best team in Australia if it's possible," Del Piero said. "I hope supporters get behind the team and all together we can be successful."
Farina, who took over as head coach in November last year after Ian Crook's resignation, said Del Piero was a logical successor to McFlynn.
"His success at international level and at club level shows that he is a true leader and we saw that last year in the dressing room, in the difficult periods that we had," he said.
"The players respect him a lot and for me it was logical that he leads this great club, this big club."
With a swag of new signings and departures, the Sky Blues are set to field a considerably different line-up to last season when they finished seventh and missed the finals.
They will be without the likes of Lucas Neill, Joel Griffiths and Terry Antonis, but welcome back Nick Carle from loan to Baniyas, Pedj Bojic from defending champions Central Coast and Brisbane's Matthew Jurman.
While Del Piero conceded it was a "big responsibility" to lead a football club with whom he had only played 24 games, he was hopeful of overcoming last season's woes.
"Last year is last year. It's part of the past. We have to think about last year only to understand what is wrong and what we think we can do better," Del Piero said.
"We are a great team, we are a great group of workers.
"We don't have scary (thoughts) about what will happen. We have to concentrate, be focused on our target and step by step build a new adventure and new feeling inside the team and forget last year."
Will it be any different to captaining Juve for 11 years?
"I don't know, because I can't tell after five minutes (in the job)," Del Piero smiled.
"I think nothing will change a lot because you have to lead the team ... and build with all the players the road to win."
Whether that means this will be his final season, Del Piero gave nothing away.
"I think I have enough thoughts at the moment and I want to concentrate on them and not think about my future," he said.