He may have played in just one practice game in the run-up to the Indian Super League but Delhi Dynamos’ marquee player Alessandro Del Piero is geared up for their first match against FC Pune City, to be held in New Delhi on Tuesday, and says he will “fight till the end” for his team.
“I have been training for the last four weeks and though I have played just one practice match it will be okay tomorrow (Tuesday),” the 39-year-old Del Piero told reporters on the eve of the match.
He added:”I can assure you I will fight till the end for my team.”
It will be a reunion of sorts for Del Piero and FC Pune City star David Trezeguet as the two had spent some good years in Juventus.
Both were part of the Juventus team when the Serie A giants were relegated to second division following the 2006 match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football. They were also the ones singing the redemption song when the club, also called the Old Lady of Turin, returned to top-flight football and dominated the league.
“It will be fun to play against him (Trezeguet). We have played for so long together in Juventus and we were one of the best strike partners. Now, we will be playing face to face,” said Del Piero when asked about playing against the Frenchman who, like the Italian, is also a World Cup winner.
Dynamos coach Harm van Veldhoven said there was no fitness issue in the team.
“For the last five to six weeks, my team has trained rigorously. As this is an entirely new tournament, we have hardly any idea about the strategy of the opponent team, but they also have no idea about us. The practice matches have been good and we have build our co-ordination well.
As far as tackling Trezeguet was concerned, the Belgian coach said he was also thinking about plans to counter the other players in the opposition ranks.
“I have no special plans for him. I would rather tell my players to think about the other players, as we know David’s style of play but we have no idea about the others.”
“We have worked very hard to build the team, we like to play forward. We want to play till the last day of the tournament. The first few matches will be important but we are ready to conquer.
“The field is good but the sheet is small, we like to play short passes and we have the passing skills to show,” Veldhoven said.
About his stint at Sydney FC after almost two decades with the Serie A giants, Del Piero said, “I spent some great years in Sydney FC. Life was a bit easier there than Italy.”
On his stay in India, Del Piero said, “I have really enjoyed my stay here so far. I will need more time to understand the culture here. I am the brand ambassador of the tournament and it is big honour for me.”