Italy great Alessandro Del Piero arrived in Sydney on Sunday declaring he's here to start a new football career in the A-League - not to finish his career.
A chanting, good-natured crowd of about 500 fans welcomed the 37-year-old Del Piero, the biggest signing in Australian football history, after he emerged from customs at Sydney airport about 11.20am.
The $2 million Sydney FC marquee player stopped for one minute to speak to gathered media, answering a few questions in both English and Italian, before police cleared a pathway through the crowd for him to a waiting car.
"I am here not for the end of my career but for the start of my new career," Del Piero said.
Asked if he wanted win titles with Sydney, Del Piero said: "I want to win some. I play to win."
Many of the fans who greeted him wearing his No. 10 on Juventus or Sydney FC shirts, while others waved large banners from the Serie A club that Del Piero played for over 19 seasons.
With Sydney playing a trial match against Brisbane in Mackay later on Sunday, chief executive Tony Pignata was one of the few senior club figures at the airport to meet the man he signed to a two-year deal.
Del Piero was taken with his family to a Sydney hotel to rest after his trip from Italy and he is to front a media conference at midday on Monday before training with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday.
Sydney has three training sessions before its final trial match against Newcastle Jets at the weekend, and club officials suggested on Sunday they would leave it to Del Piero to see if he felt sufficiently recovered from jet lag to play in that game.
Del Piero scored 27 goals in 91 internationals for Italy between 1995 and 2008 and 208 goals in 513 games for Juventus.
Fans gathered at Sydney airport from around 5.30am, several hours before his Singapore Airlines flight arrived.
Initially they were dominated by members of the Sydney chapter of Juventus and, as the morning progressed, they were joined by hundreds of Sydney fans, many clad in the club's sky blue shirt.
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