“I’m happy and I can’t hide it. Reaching and outdoing players who have made this club’s history makes me really proud”. Alex Del Piero has made it: he has left behind Boniperti’s record as best Juventus goalscorer of all time, becoming the absolute No.1. It would have taken him just one goal but the Captain wanted to exaggerate in the match against Fiorentina and scored a hat trick, which took him to 185 goals: “Well, it’s better this way – continues Alex – sometimes you just can’t put the ball in, this time I scored three all together. It feels good to be praised by one’s teammates, to score, to win.. I’m satisfied, on a personal level of course but also for the whole team who played a great match qualifying for quarter-finals in grand style.”
The Captain’s record has occurred playing against that very Fiorentina who are one of his favourite victims, against which he scored one of the goals he loves the most to remember, back in 1994: the goal that marked that historical fight back from 0-2 down up to the final 3-2: “It is a fine coincidence: that was a spectacular goal but it was only very important for our season. Tonight’s goals too mark an important stage of my career and I hope they can be a new starting point. What did I feel when I scored? Well, it felt a little awkward at first, I didn’t expect to score that early in the match. It all happened so fast.. maybe you enjoy more such moments later on”. Would Alex have ever expected to achieve so much when he first arrived at Juventus? “I would not, honestly. I came here when I was very young and playing for Juventus was already the top for me. And it has always been like this in all these years, I have never looked at figures. After all, this year was the first time that people started to talk about the record but I always reckoned such figures out of reach, but on the contrary…” And on the contrary, Alex has now re-written Juventus’s history: “It’s an historical moment, that’s true, but as I have said many times before, not only the goals prove a player’s worth in a club. Figures count but it’s also fundamental how present someone is throughout all the different experiences lived by a team, with wins and defeats.” And lastly, a dedication for this record: “My mind goes to all the people that have always been close to me, my wife, my family, my friends.. I’ll celebrate with them in private.”
In public, Alex will celebrate on Sunday, January 15th before the match against Reggina, when we’ll cheer him for the record. Don’t miss it!
Alex’s second year at Juventus is characterized by remarkable changes, first of all inside the management: the club is managed by Vice President Roberto Bettega, Antonio Giraudo and Luciano Moggi, respectively Chief Executive and Director General. The President is Lawyer Vittorio Caissotti from Chiusano. The new management makes a bold choice straightaway, entrusting the team to Marcello Lippi, a young coach who had done well on Napoli and Atalanta benches but who was still an uncertainty with a top club.
The Viareggio-born coach loves unconventional football devoted to attack and, in the year of the introduction of the three-points per win, his choices turn out to be victorious. Del Piero had already drawn the attention on himself in the previous season, scoring five goals in fourteen appearances (Serie A and Cups), among which it’s worth mentioning the exciting hat trick of goals against Parma, and Roberto Baggio’s difficult physical conditions opens up new prospect for Alex. He’s only twenty-years old but he’s got personality and scores crucial goals. To give you an example, on December, 4th 1994, Fiorentina is leading 0-2.
Twenty minutes before the end of the match, Juventus wake up and triumph: Vialli scores two goals in three minutes’ time but it’s Del Piero who gives them the winning goal, with an epic action: with a soft touch on the volley, he kicked the ball with his right instep, beating a stunned Toldo with a drive from forty metres. A jewel, and it was not the only one: just one week later, Juventus are going to Rome to play a tough match against Lazio. The Biancoazzuri are a giant and Lippi has half of his side unavailable; however, Alex has got broad shoulders and he doesn’t have to be asked twice to lead the team: he scores twice, his first double in Serie A, and the final 3-4 gives the Bianconeri the lead of the table. They’ll remain on top until the end of the season, bringing the Scudetto back to Turin after nine years, winning Coppa Italia too and getting near to the Uefa title as well. An all-star squad, with Del Piero being already their most sparkling star.