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Football: Italian great Del Piero wants to play on

Former Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero on Monday (August 4) said he wants to play on, despite being 39 and without a club.

SYDNEY: Former Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero on Monday (August 4) said he wants to play on, despite being 39 and without a club. The 2006 World Cup winner failed to agree a new contract with Sydney FC at the end of last season but is back in Australia to captain an All Stars side against his old club Juventus on Saturday.

Del Piero said he had been staying fit and wants to keep playing football for at least another year, but is yet to decide where or in what capacity.

Asked by reporters in Sydney whether it could be the last game of his career, Del Piero said: "No, I don't think so. It could be my last game in Australia, but I'm still in touch with the (Australian) federation and Sydney FC as well. I'm happy to be here and hope to stay in touch in the future."

Juventus' all-time leading goalscorer said there were currently two "big" but not definite options available to him. "Now I have to choose exactly what is the best for me with the opportunities, but I want to play on," he added. "It's my passion. I understand I can follow my passion until I'm 90 years old, but I think I'm in good shape to play for one more year and this is my idea."

The Italian great, who spent 19 years at Juventus, scoring 208 goals in 513 appearances before joining the A-League, said it would be emotional for him on Saturday. "This is a special game, not only for me but for the Australian federation, all the players," he said. "It will be, for sure, exciting to come face-to-face with my former team. I don't know what can happen, because it's a very unique situation."

Juventus have brought a full-strength team to Sydney for the match, including new recruit Patrice Evra, Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon, Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba.

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