Alessandro Del Piero is more concerned with how well he plays than getting lots of match time in Sydney FC's Round 1 clash with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
The 38-year-old striker arrived to a blustery Wellington welcome on Friday, ready for his first A-League match after signing a two-year contract at Sydney FC for a reported $A4 million.
Del Piero scored 290 goals in 19 years with Juventus and was part of Italy's World Cup-winning team of 2006, the highlight of a 13-year international career.
But he's had limited pre-season training and match practice since arriving in Australia three weeks ago, and is reluctant to make rash promises about playing a full 90 minutes on Saturday.
"It depends - the flight and all, it depends. I'll try to play first of all good, then we watch the minutes," Del Piero said.
Del Piero admits to feeling under pressure to perform, given his price tag and reputation, but says that's nothing new.
"That's normal, it's right like that," he said.
Sydney FC coach Ian Crook has yet to settle on a starting line-up, but is expected to include Del Piero despite his lack of time to build up match fitness.
"We would have loved to have another week, two weeks or three weeks, but that isn't the situation," Crook said.
"We've said all along it's a long-term project. He's not here on a short guest stint.
"But we feel he's got enough quality to be able to give us something different."
Wellington coach Ricki Herbert said his side must not get caught up in trying to shut down Del Piero, with Sydney FC dangerous across the field.
"I don't think there can be too much sole concentration on Del Piero," Herbert said.
"We hugely respect what he's done and what he could potentially do in the A-League.
"He's an incredibly talented player. But we've got to get it right ourselves, otherwise other players in the team will be a problem for us.""If we can stop the supply of ball into them, that's certainly going to help. If we don't, we're probably going to have double the problems."
Phoenix captain Andrew Durante confirmed that the club's tenacious defensive midfielder Manny Muscat will likely tag the Italian star.
"Manny will have most of the job on Del Piero, and we all know what Manny's like - he'll tackle anyone and win the ball, no matter who it is," Durante said.
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