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Juventus extend Del Piero's contract to 2010

ROME, Oct 17 (Reuters) Juventus have extended captain Alessandro Del Piero's contract by two years until 2010, the Serie A club announced.

''We have achieved an important result for the future of Juventus,'' chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc told the club's Web site (www.juventus.com) yesterday.

''The agreement with Del Piero confirms our ambition and our faith in the absolute value of a player who will continue to put his experience at the service of the team and millions of fans.'' The new deal with the Turin club comes after lengthy negotiations. At one stage, the club's sporting director Alessio Secco said Juventus risked losing their all-time top scorer.

It rewards the striker, whose contract was due to expire at the end of this season, for sticking with Juve when they were relegated to Serie B last year because of a match-fixing scandal and helping them bounce straight back to the top flight.

''I made a key choice for my career and my life,'' Del Piero said. ''Juventus have given me a lot and I want to continue to win here''.

Del Piero made his Serie A debut with Juventus aged 18 in 1993 after joining the club from Padova.

Since then he has won five Italian titles and the Champions League with the team.

The forward, who turns 33 next month, was a member of Italy's World Cup-winning squad and has scored 27 international goals.

But he is not the player he once was and was dropped by Azzurri coach Roberto Donadoni after a lacklustre performance in the goalless Euro 2008 qualifying draw against France last month.


Story first published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 14:44 [IST]
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