The Italian Almanac

Alex Del Piero

Until He is 40

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has said he wants to keeping playing until he is 40. The news is likely to be of interest to foreign clubs hoping to sign the 37-year-old, who looks set to be a free agent in May after Turin giants Juve said this season will be his last with them.

''Until I'm 40,'' Del Piero told Spanish daily El Pais when asked how much longer he would keep going. The former Italy striker refused to give an indication of where he might go next season if he does part company with Juve, simply saying ''que sera', sera'''. According to media reports, Del Piero is unlikely to play for another team in Italy after devoting almost all of his professional career to Juve. A move to a club belonging to America's Major League Soccer championship is one of the possibilities most frequently mentioned in reports.

Del Piero has helped Juve win five Serie A titles and a Champions League crown since he joined the club aged 16 in 1993. He also stuck with Juve to help them regain promotion to the top tier of Italian football after they were relegated to Serie B and stripped of two league titles for involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

The player, who won the 2006 World Cup with Italy, holds Juve's club records for most appearances (684) and goals (285).