Wednesday, December 4, 2013
4 December 1994 - Del Piero Delivers
The 20-year forward had joined Juventus the previous year after spending his first two seasons at Padova. He impressed on his debut, scoring a hat-trick against Parma that spring. But even that performance didn't prepare the club for what was to come.
Hosting Fiorentina at the Stadio Delle Alpi in December, Juventus conceded first-half goals to Francesco Baiano (24') and Angelo Carbone (35') to go into the break down 0-2. But in the second half, Gianluca Vialli scored twice in a four-minute span (73', 76') to bring the hosts level.
Then, in the 87th minute, as it appeared that the teams would share the points, Del Piero struck. With a long ball coming in from just inside the midfield stripe, Del Piero raced down the left side of the pitch and into the box, connecting with a right-footed volley that put the ball into the top corner. It was an incredible display of skill that secured a 3-2 victory and established Del Piero as a rising star.
Juventus went on to win the league that season, their first Scudetto in eight years. Del Piero stayed with the club until 2012, making a total of 705 appearances and scoring 290 goals while winning five more league titles (not counting the two stripped from the club as a result of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal).