Del Piero to leave Sydney FC
Photo taken on April 18, 2014 shows Sydney FC player Alessandro Del Piero waving goodbye to his fans after losing to the Melbourne Victory in their A-League elimination match in Melbourne - by Mal Fairclough
The two parties had been in discussions for months about extending Del Piero's two-season stay in Australia, but Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said the 39-year-old player had decided to end his time with the team.
"While it would have been fantastic to see Alessandro remain in Sky Blue, ultimately this has been his decision," Barlow said.
"Two years ago Sydney FC signed one of the greatest players to have ever worn a football shirt."
The former Juventus great, the biggest signing in Australia's domestic league history, has played a major role in increasing attendances, television audiences and media interest in the domestic A-League.
"There is no doubt that Alessandro's contribution has laid the foundations for a lasting legacy and he has inspired a whole new generation of Sydney FC football fans and future players," Barlow said.
Sydney FC said there would be discussions with Del Piero about continuing his relationship with the club.
"Today is bitter-sweet. 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," Barlow said.
"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."
The Italian great spent 19 years at Juventus, scoring 208 goals in 513 appearances before joining the A-League.
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