For this next installment of “Alessandro Del Piero Week” we look back at the 2011-12 season for what would be Del Piero’s final year wearing Juventus colors.
Barely a few months have passed and it is still a strange mixture of emotions. On the one hand Alex caps off a glorious Juventus career with a undefeated Scudetto-winning season, brings an end to one of the toughest periods in club history, and receives one hell of a standing ovation / lap of honor send-off.
On the other hand, he’s leaving us. And without receiving enough playing time. And his last match was the Coppa Italia defeat. And he’s leaving us…
If “a picture is worth a thousand words”, than what is a picture of Alessandro Del Piero worth? Like you, I can sit for hours looking at photos of my idol, my hero, my Captain. And that’s exactly what I did for this PotD photo-tribute.
Here is a selection of images from this past 2011-12 Scudetto-winning season of our beloved Ale, his last season at Juventus.
I miss him already.
The best way to start this photo tribute is with a smile. Here our icon warms our hearts during the Summer 2011 TIM Trophy match at pre-season.
Thiago Motta tried to get in Del Piero’s face during that same match. The only thing better than Stankovic’s “oh shit is Motta really that dumb?” expression is Alex’s “bitch, please” face. Step off, idiot.
Giampiero Boniperti and Alessandro Del Piero inaugurated the new Juventus stadium in an opening ceremony that has yet to be matched (sorry, London Olympics).
Stephan Lichtsteiner steals the spotlight to score the first Serie A goal at Juventus Stadium, and in response Del Piero holds him tight while Andrea Pirlo closes in for the close-line finisher. Juventus won that home opener against Parma by a score of 4-1.
Del Piero bites his shirt in frustration as Bologna pay Juve a visit in a match where Vucinic sees red. The match ends 1-1, the first draw of Juve’s season.
Michael Bradley is luckiest US citizen in the history of the world. Why? Because he was able to play on the same field as one the greatest players in history and learn from him… and nobody better mention Clint Dempsey and his lucky-ass Fulham goal, OK? (Del Piero only played the last 5 minutes of that abortion of a match anyway).
Getting back to Chievo, those cheeky little donkeys even managed to hold Juve to a 0-0 draw. Asses!
October 2011 was good month, opening with Claudio Marchisio making the Devil Cry, and ending with a triumphant 2-1 smack-down at the San Siro against Internazionale. ADP only played the last 5 minutes of the Inter win, but still had time to celebrate with Antonio Conte.
December started with a 2-0 home win against Cesena. Del Piero was subbed in during the second half only to leave after a mere 10 minutes of play, all because of a forehead-cutting high boot by Marco Rossi. Luckily ADP was relatively fine after receiving 8 stitches in the locker room, and a precautionary night stay in the hospital.
Subsequent matches would see Alex sporting a badass do-rag and cut-lip. LIKE A BOSS (See below).
One of my favorite Alessandro Del Piero moments of the season was when he stepped onto the field for the Thursday night Coppa Italia clash against Bologna sporting a thug-life “tough-as-nails” look. Juve advanced to the quarter-finals thanks to a little magic from
Greaserini Giaccherini and Marchisio.
Still hungry for more goals and more playing time, Del Piero eats his pink kit in frustration during the Piedmont Derby 2-0 win against Novara. Alex only received a 5.5 match rating from us here at JuventiKNOWS, clearly denoting an unusually frustrating performance from our beloved Capitano.
Luckily, sunnier skies would be ahead after the winter break…
Just before the new year started, Del Piero took an early flight ahead of his teammates to make an appearance at the Sixth International Sports Council Conference in Dubai held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.
Cristiano Ronaldo was also a celebrity guest, but failed to outshine the humble greatness that is our Capitano (as reported in another hilarious STTBS by yours truly).
Winter blues and January doom were non-factors for 2012 as Juventus won 4 out of 5 matches at the start of year, including a 3-0 Coppa Italia quarter-final win against Roma that saw Del Piero score his first goal at Juventus Stadium (and what a goal that was!)
Juventus drew 3 out of their 5 matches in February, but luckily one of their wins was a the 2-1 inflicted onto AC Milan in the Coppa Italia. Del Piero may have had a quiet match that day, but I included this pic because he oddly looks like our old Milan-killer Hasan Salihamidžić…
In the return leg however Alessandro Del Piero was loud as hell, enjoying one of his best performances of the season in one of the most entertaining matches of the year, dubbed here at JuventiKNOWS as 120 minutes of Pure Spectacle.
And yes, his goal was quite lovely.
For the Milan Fans who pray that somehow, someway, Del Piero will one day move to the San Siro… sorry. That Milan Shirt is just too small.
Back-to-back matches against both Milan teams also sees back-to-back goals by ADP. Two tallies in one week, this one in front of the Juve fans hosting Inter Milan for an awesome 2-0 win. My personal favorite match of the season.
Stepping onto the pitch in the 73rd minute, it only takes 10 minutes for Juve fans to see Del Piero’s “Tongue” celebration, after his stunning free kick against Lazio brings home the three points. Mamma mia, che gol!!
May 13th, 2012.
Juventus Stadium, Turin.
An incredible display of affection pours around the arena, as Alessandro Del Piero takes his “lap of honor” during Serie A’s last matchday game between Juventus and Atalanta.
The Scudetto may have already been won but there were still 90 minutes of football to be played, and yet, the ongoing match took a backseat as the icon of the club — whose motto reads “winning is the only thing that counts” — walked around each centimeter of the touchline to salute the fans.
The stadium may not even be a year old yet, and already we have some incredible memories to last a lifetime. Ciao, Alex.
Alessandro Del Piero. Juventus Captain. Champion of Italy.
I know, I know… you’re all yelling at me for including this saddest of saddest pictures. But, in my defense, I know you’re misty-eyed and sniffling already so I don’t think I’m doing too much damage.
Ok, no more sad pics. Only smiles to follow, as we wrap up this emotional rollercoaster of ADP’s 2011-12 and final season at Juve.
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Alessandro Del Piero and his son Tobias run on the field before the Serie A win against Inter Milan at Juventus Stadium.
Tobias, Dorotea, and Sasha Del Piero with their daddy Alessandro, before the last match of the season.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012 Del Piero was part of a charity match at Kashima Stadium in Kashima, northeastern Japan, to help support the reconstruction of the areas hit by the March-11 earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Alex celebrates with Kodai Watanabe of Vegalta Sendai, left, and Takuto Hayashi, of Vegalta Sendai after he scores a goal.
I have no idea WHY a tickle fight ensued afterwards.
Remember that STTBS from February, where Aaron mentioned that amazing story of Del Piero’s voice bringing a little girl out of a coma?
Here is the author’s rendering:
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Stay tuned for more great ADP memories, articles, and even a Tribute Podcast as “Alessandro Del Piero Week” continues!