Sydney FC fans have seen the last of Alessandro Del Piero in a Sky Blues uniform, with the mega marquee calling time on his two-year sojourn in the Harbour City.
Del Piero had been in discussions with the club regarding the possibility of a one-year contract extension, but has opted against returning for a third A-League campaign.
Sydney chairman Scott Barlow paid tribute to the footballing legend on Monday afternoon in a statement which confirmed ADP has chosen to depart the club.
"His signing was the biggest in Australian football history and it lifted Sydney FC and the A-League onto the world stage," Barlow said.
“Together we have achieved a lot and Sydney FC has grown in every way, with record crowds and memberships and huge interest in our club both domestically and internationally."
Del Piero is said to be contemplating retirement, which means his final match could still yet be played in Sydney, when he lines up against his former club Juventus – where he made over 500 appearances in 19 seasons – in front of over 80,000 people at ANZ Stadium as captain of the A-League All Stars this August.
This would certainly be a great swansong for the Italian champion, who definitely deserves to exit the game on a grand stage.
The 39-year-old could also then return to Australia in January next year, after agreeing to take on a role as an ambassador for the Asian Cup with the FFA earlier this season.
The memories that ADP has provided Sydney FC fans and – Aussie football fans in general – over the past two seasons, with his endless dazzling displays of cunning skill on the pitch, will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all of those who were lucky enough to witness the great man play.
All the best for the future ‘Il Pinturicchio’ and thank you for gracing Australian football with your majestic presence.
Have your say: What are some of your favourite memories of Del Piero for Sydney FC?