Del Piero passes on Ajaccio offer

Mark Kolbe

Citing family reasons, Alessandro Del Piero will remain at Sydney FC and will continue to be the A-League's best international attraction in 2013/14.

Alessandro Del Piero will stay with Sydney FC in the A-League after turning down an opportunity to play in Ligue 1 with AC Ajaccio. The Corsican side revealed its attempt to lure the 38-year-old to the French league on their website but cited family needs and financial conditions as preventing an offseason transfer.

In addition to a return to Europe, the attraction to Ajaccio for Del Piero was the recent appointment of his former Juventus teammate Fabrizio Ravanelli as manager of the Bears. According to FourFourTwo Australia, Del Piero agreed in principle to join Ajaccio but family considerations held the Sky Blues' leading scorer to his current Sydney agreement.

Del Piero was the A-League's join-fourth leading scorer with 14 goals in 2012/13, including four against Wellington Phoenix in a 7-1 Round 17 rout. Apart from a nine-game scoring drought (two of which were injury absences), Del Piero never went more than two games without scoring. Yet the Sky Blues missed out on the finals for the second time in three years, after winning the 2009/10 premiership. Though he is certainly not the only player of value at Sydney, Del Piero was a vital part of 2012/13 campaign and is a key piece in 2013/14 planning for Frank Farina.

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