By Chris Wright
It’s hard to picture wearing Alessandro Del Piero wearing anything other than the Old Lady’s famous monochrome livery, but there was a point very early in his career when Juventus came perilously close to letting the young boy that would go on to score 289 goals for them slip through their metaphorical fingers.
Parma were hell bent on signing Dino Baggio from Juve in the summer of 1994 but when the midfielder initially refused the personal terms on offer, the Bianconeri offered them the 18-year-old Del Piero instead as a gesture of goodwill.
However, Baggio had a change of heart at the last minute and eventually agreed to join Parma, leaving Del Piero – who up until that point was merely a precocious brat scoring for fun in the youth side – free to continue on his meteoric assent to club deity-dom in Turin.
Four months later, he did this…
Del Piero’s 89th-minute impossibile volley over Francesco Toldo’s right shoulder completely disintegrated any lingering doubts that he wasn’t the real deal, thus cementing Pinturicchio‘s place in the senior side and (almost literally) kick-starting his entire Juventus career.
Speaking about the goal in 2009, Del Piero told Sky Italia:
“When it went in, it was the end of the world – an exciting moment for me and all of us.
“Its uniqueness made it memorable, just like it was made more important as it was scored in a vital game for Juventus.”
With the subtle, perfectly-timed flick of a right boot, a legend was well and truly born.
More random great goals on Pies…
Patrick M’Boma (Gamba Osaka) vs Shonan Bellmare
Lothar Matthaus (Bayern Munich) vs Bayer Leverkusen
Ian Wright (Arsenal) vs Swindon
Roberto Cabanas (New York Cosmos) vs Tulsa Roughnecks
Steve Bull (England) vs Czechoslovakia
Thierry Henry (Arsenal) vs SC Wiez
Muzzy Izzet (Leicester) vs Grimsby
Darren Barnard (Barnsley) vs Huddersfield
Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors) vs Corinthians
Hugo Almeida (Porto) vs Inter Milan
Paulo Wanchope (Costa Rica) vs Uruguay
Youssef Safri (Norwich) vs Newcastle
Paul Lambert (Celtic) vs Rangers
Ilie Dumitrescu (Romania) vs Argentina
Rivaldo And Friends (Olympiakos) vs PAOK
Jon Harley (Fulham) vs Aston Villa