Impressed by their performances at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Alessandro Del Piero says next year’s AFC Asian Cup is the Socceroos’ chance to win some silverware.
Having spent the last two seasons with Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League, the Italian legend has kept a close eye on the Socceroos and their progression under coach Ange Postecoglou.
Like many he was unsure how the inexperienced squad and crop of youngsters would perform in Brazil but came away pleasantly surprised by their displays.
Now back in Australia with his family ahead of Sunday’s Foxtel A-League All Stars clash with Juventus, Del Piero is adamant they are on the right track to bring home the Asian Cup next year.
“At end of day I think they did great work. Playing against teams like Spain, Holland, Chile…it’s tough,” he said.
“These are teams with a lot of history, players play a lot of international games but they did great work, they were very close (to winning).
“Before World Cup people would say they would lose 4-0, 5-0 and not be competitive but at the end of the day it wasn’t true.
“The target is still the Asian Cup at home next year in January. It’s the perfect moment to show Asia and the rest of the world what they can do and what is the level of football.”
Del Piero’s initial focus though is on Sunday’s clash with his former club Juventus at ANZ Stadium.
The 2006 World Cup winner spent 19 glorious seasons at the Bianconeri and admits it will be a strange feeling going up against them for the first time as captain of the Foxtel A-League All Stars.
Still in contact with many players and officials at the Turin club, Del Piero says the star-studded squad are excited to get to Sydney to play.
“My phone, especially in the last week, has been very busy with messages and phone calls,” the 39-year-old said.
“They are excited to arrive in Sydney and Australia. We had a good time together in the past, and still now I send them messages to say welcome, it’s a wonderful country and it will be a great game.”
Del Piero says he’s unsure how he will react if he manages to score against Juve and their legendary ‘keeper Gigi Buffon but knows his Foxtel A-League All Stars side face a tricky task.
“Juventus very are close to the opening of their season, they have a new coach, new stimulation and come from three straight wins in the league. They are the best team in Italy right now,” he said.
“It will be tough for us but a great game because we have a very good team too. This is a special event not only for me but the whole Australian federation and all the players.”
The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally.Match Details FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC Sunday 10 August 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST Click here to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency. Ticket Prices Category A - $169.50 all tickets Category B - $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family Category C - $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family Juventus Active Area - $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply. Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply. Hashtag: #ALvJUVE