sport

Del Piero to leave Sydney FC

Alessandro Del Piero has confirmed he is to part ways with Sydney FC after two seasons at the club, although his playing future remains unclear.

Sydney officials met with the 39-year-old on Monday and mutually agreed to end their relationship.

Club chairman Scott Barlow confirmed the former Juventus star's departure and also paid tribute to the veteran's contribution to Australian football.

"Two years ago, Sydney FC signed one of the greatest players to have ever worn a football shirt, Alessandro Del Piero," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"At the time, if you had said Del Piero would be playing in Australia, few people would have believed it possible. His signing was the biggest in Australian football history and it lifted Sydney FC and the A-League onto the world stage.

"There is no doubt that Alessandro's contribution has laid the foundations for a lasting legacy and he has inspired a whole new generation of Sydney FC football fans and future players."

Del Piero will return to Italy at the conclusion of his current deal for a well-earned break before making a final appearance on Australian soil for the A-League All Stars against Juventus in August.

"Australia, the moment has arrived to say arrivederci. My adventure with Sydney FC is about to be concluded, and, even if it makes me rather sad, because I have had wonderful time here," Del Piero said in a statement.

"The moment has arrived to make some changes. I am well aware that I have given a lot and received even more. Now I just need some time to think over all the prospective opportunities for my future."