18th October 2011. Remember that day. It’s the day that the Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli announced to the world that the club’s greatest ever player would not be given a new contract at the end of the season even though he had wanted one. The end of an era and what a way to announce it. Was Alessandro Del Piero there at the chairman’s side? No. Was Alessandro Del Piero even told? No. In fact as far as he was aware he would still be playing for Juventus next season and had no intention of leaving!
The news was met with disgust. How dare Agnelli treat the symbol of the club in this way? Especially after all he had done for the club. Not even offered a position as a director or a coach. Disgraceful.
Cue outrage from not only fans but prominent current and ex-footballers expressing their disbelief at the manner of this announcement.
Days passed and still no word from Del Piero. Clearly he had been caught out by Agnelli’s decision. Eventually he responded like the gentleman he is with “the club’s President is just reminding me when my contract expires with the Turin giants”.
Every Juventus fan knows that ‘Il Capitano’ cannot play 90mins week in week out but they do know that he’s still an excellent player. He cannot play forever but a player of his magnitude should at least be afforded a respectable sending off. Lets not forget that this is the man who is the all time record goalscorer at Juventus with 205 goals, the all time appearances holder, won 5 serie A titles, 1 Champions League Title and the world cup. He also stuck with the club following their relegation post Calciopoli scandal and took multiple pay cuts to help the club financially.
Maybe Agnelli will change his mind? But regardless of what happens at the end of the season, this was certainly no way to treat a hero. Imagine if the Glazier’s announced that they would not be offering Ryan Giggs a new contract without telling him first…!