Everybody wants a pizza Del Piero

OF Sydney's 3.9 million residents, more than 4% have Italian ancestry.

That should ensure Sydney FC will have plenty of support now that Italian superstar and World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero is going to be wearing the number 10 jersey for them in the A-League.

Del Piero, who won six Serie A titles and the Champions League with Juventus, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal worth a reported $2million a season.

The 37-year-old was released at the end of last season after 19 years at Juventus and he heads Down Under as the all-time leading goalscorer for the Turin-based club.

He scored five goals in 29 games last season, with Juventus winning the Serie A title after going through undefeated in the league.

News of his move to Sydney broke last week, but completion of the deal was delayed after Liverpool and Premier League rivals Southampton both reportedly made late offers.

There is no doubt that Del Piero, who played 91 times for Italy, is the highest-profile recruit in the seven-year history of the A-League.

Del Piero said taking on an entirely new challenge played a massive role in his move to Sydney and playing in the A-League

"For the next two years I am Australian," he said. "This is something that is close to my heart. I want to lift the sport in this country. It's an honour to be called to Australia.

"I am coming to Sydney to score and to win. I want to play in front of full stadiums."

But Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said Del Piero's signing was not just great news for his club.

"This signing is a major coup for Sydney FC and marks a historic day for football in this country," he said. "This is for all Australian football fans".

Sydney FC Ian Crook said he was looking forward to working with the Italian legend.

"It's a magnificent opportunity for everybody involved in the club ... to get the opportunity to play and learn off someone of his ilk is great," Crook said.

New Zealand fans will get the first sight of Del Piero in action in sky blue when Wellington Phoenix host Sydney FC in the A-League opener on October 6.

His first game on Australian soil will be against the Newcastle Jets a week later at the Sydney Football Stadium.


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