Juventus legend and 2006 World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero is poised to be unveiled as the latest marquee addition for the inaugural Indian Super League, Sky Sports sources understand.
The 39-year-old is expected to be confirmed as a player for the Delhi Dynamos franchise at some point this weekend and it is thought he will also become a brand ambassador for the league. Del Piero has performed a similar ambassadorial role for the Australian A-League, where he scored 24 goals in 48 appearances during a two-year stint with Sydney FC.
After beginning his career with Padova, Del Piero moved to Juventus in 1993 where he scored 290 goals in 705 games during his 19-year stay with the Bianconeri. A Serie A title winner with Turin-based side on multiple occasions, Del Piero has also won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup with Juventus.
He remains the Juventus’ leading goalscorer and also holds the record for the most appearances for the club. In the eight-team league in India, Del Piero will be reunited with former Juventus strike partner David Trezeguet who has been signed up as the marquee player for FC Pune City.
Former Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ Robert Pires and Freddie Ljunberg will also play in the league, as will Spanish duo Luis Garcia and Josemi who won the Champions League in 2005 with Liverpool. Former Manchester City and England goalkeeper David James will be player-manager for the Kerala Blasters franchise which is co-owned by Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
In Thursday’s International Players Draft, Kerala snapped up former Newcastle, Sunderland, Cardiff and Blackpool striker Michael Chopra whose father is Indian. European sides Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Feyenoord have all entered into technical partnerships with various ISL sides.
The ISL, which is the brainchild of the All-India Football Federation and its marketing partner IMG-Reliance, kicks off on October 12 and runs until December 20.