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Alessandro Del Piero celebrates his 45th birthday today, so Football Italia decided to rank his five greatest lesser-known goals for the Bianconeri, not an easy task considering he scored 290 for Juventus over a 19-year period.
5. Napoli, Stadio San Paolo, Serie A, 1994-95
Alessandro Del Piero’s year zero. A young, bushy-haired Del Piero started the season as Juve’s fourth choice attacking option, behind Roberto Baggio, Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli. By the end of it, he’d done enough to convince Marcello Lippi and the Juventus triad of Luciano Moggi, Roberto Bettega and Antonio Giraudo that life without Baggio would be just fine.
This goal against Napoli was the very first in the ‘zona Del Piero’ collection, that corridor of grass where he would get the ball on the left, cut inside and majestically curl the ball into the far corner of the net.
It would be another year before the term entered the footballing lexicon, but here was the prototype.
Life for Del Piero would never be the same again.
4. Lecce, Stadio delle Alpi, Serie A, 2003-04
Del Piero hadn’t enjoyed the greatest of seasons. Juve were coming to the end of Marcello Lippi’s second cycle at the club, and Del Piero had struggled with injuries, restricting him to 22 league outings that season. They had relinquished their Serie A crown to Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan as Lecce, already safe from relegation, rolled into the delle Alpi in late April to contest in a seven goal thriller.
David Trezeguet had given Juve the lead, before the away side steamrolled into a 4-1 lead by the 52nd minute. Del Piero came on at halftime for Fabrizio Miccoli, and late in the game, the J
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