World Cup winner pictured in Newcastle United's new Adidas home shirt as transfer claim made

Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero pictured in a Newcastle United shirt.Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero pictured in a Newcastle United shirt.
Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero pictured in a Newcastle United shirt. | Instagram
The Italian legend has revealed both Newcastle United and Manchester United offered him the chance to come to the Premier League.

Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero has revealed he came close to joining Newcastle United and Manchester United during his glittering 23-year career.

Del Piero spent the best part of two decades at Juventus and holds the club record for the most appearances (705) and goals scored (290). He won Serie A six times and the Champions League once as well as lifting the World Cup in 2006.

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Regarded as one of the best forwards to grace the game, Del Piero had opportunities to leave Juventus, including to the Premier League with Newcastle perhaps being a surprise option.

The now 49-year-old twice faced Sir Bobby Robson’s side at the Champions League group stage in 2002, scoring both goals in a 2-0 home win before a few weeks later suffering a 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park via Andy Griffin’s iconic winner.

Del Piero has been retired for 10 years but an image of him wearing Newcastle’s new Adidas home shirt, which went on sale on Friday, has quickly captured the imagination of supporters. The forward - speaking ahead of scoring in Soccer Aid’s annual England vs the Rest of the World match - then revealed how he almost donned Newcastle colours for real.

When asked if he ever had the chance to move to England, Del Piero told talkSPORT: “Yeah, it happened with Newcastle and Man United. It didn’t happen in the end because I was captain of Juve and happy at Juve and for me it was everything. I was a Juventus fan from the beginning when I was a young kid.

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“I wasn’t looking for more money or more things – they gave me good money in Turin and I became captain and stayed 19 years going through everything from paradise to hell and I’m happy about that.

“It’s a unique story and a unique journey. Of course I would have loved to have had the chance to play here because I always enjoyed playing here, but it didn’t happen.”

Manchester United’s interest in Del Piero came in 2006 when Juventus were demoted to Serie B for match-fixing but he opted to stay and spearhead their return to the top-flight.

He added: “No regrets because everything that I chose in my career, I don't regret – including relegation with Juventus. That was a hard choice, but I'm still happy that I made it because I truly believe in one way and that is still my way. Every time that I came to play in England it was a great atmosphere.”

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