Over 19 years at Juventus, Del Piero made 704 appearances, scored 289 goals and won Serie A six times and the Champions League once.
With Italy he scored 27 goals in 91 caps and was a key member of the squad which won the 2006 World Cup.
But Del Piero truly earned his status as a footballing legend in Turin, specifically in his devotion to the Bianconeri following their demotion to Serie B in 2006.
While many players left, Del Piero remained at Juve to captain the side back to the top flight and eventually back to the title.
Fittingly nicknamed Il Pinturicchio in reference to the great renaissance artist, we’ll always love Del Piero, but we’ve left it to those who know him best to explain why he is such a legend.
“Del Piero is the best player in the history of Italian football. He is a person for who I do not only have a lot of respect but a lot of affection as well.”
“He’s the greatest player I’ve ever played against. He dribbled in an incredible way.”
“In my view he’s the best person I’ve met in this sport.”
“Alex … what an opponent! What a player! What a person! A real symbol, a champion who gave trophies to the Juventus fans, he loves that shirt and gives lots of back pain to opposing goalkeepers.
“Alessa, I think the older I become the more scared I am of facing you on the field. You are one of the best in the game, I admire you and respect you.”
“He is different to Zinedine Zidane. He likes to play, he feels it in his soul. Between him and the Frenchman, I choose him.”
“Del Piero has been an inspiration for me throughout my career.”
“Maldini, Del Piero and Raúl are all the symbols of world football.”
“It’s difficult to find words to describe Del Piero. He has been playing for Juve for about 20 years ‒ he is the history of this club. When anybody in the world says the word ‘Juve’, they have a picture of Del Piero in mind. I think that says it all.”
“Del Piero is the best Italian footballer.”
“Regarding Del Piero’s situation, my thoughts are very clear. I would sum it up in just four words: Del Piero is Juventus.”
“Del Piero is my idol. When I arrived at Juventus and I was introduced to Alex, it was like touching the heavens with my finger.”
“Alessandro Del Piero was the symbol of the club for many years.”
“He always comes to the training field with a smile for everyone, a comforting word for everyone. This is his greatness: humbleness… he’s a golden person.”
“Vieri is a player I would like at United. But maybe Del Piero would be even better. He would be perfect for us.”
“After his penultimate appearance in a Juventus jersey, he was finally overwhelmed by all the emotions he’d managed to keep a lid on up till then. His ego, his desire to be involved, that need to feel like a true Bianconero.
“He flooded the dressing room with tears, and we did the same, both with him and for him.”
“From tomorrow I will no longer be a Juventus player, but I will always be one of you.”
“He will always be our captain.”
“A true gentleman never leaves his lady.”