[photopress:del_piero.jpg,thumb,alignright] Dear friends,
over the last few days I have been casting my mind back over the course of the season, one which ended with our 29th scudetto, my seventh with the bianconeri.
There are so many moments that brought us together and that I have imprinted on my mind and my heart.
I want to begin with the last one, the roar that welcomed me to the pitch in Bari, where you had gathered from across Italy, the umpteenth demonstration of affection that I have received in my 13 years with the you. 13 years, but in reality many more.
I tried to think back to my childhood and the first time that I received a Juventus shirt.
I put in on and felt an emotion that over the course of the years turned into pride, a sense of belonging, the same feelings that are rooted in every true Juventus fan, that of being a part of a huge family, of a brotherhood characterised by a legendary tradition.
It’s very moving to reflect on our history, from November 1st 1897 when a group of men sitting on a bench decided to form a football club to that team’s eventual adoption by the Agnelli family, who have never abandoned it and continue, generation after generation, to foster it’s growth and development with enormous passion.
The same passion that unites all of us.
I still remember when I arrived here in 1993 and met Giovanni Agnelli for the first time, a towering presence in the same mould as his bother Umberto.
I remember the first goals, the first wins, and your affection as it grew over time: we have grown up with one another, experienced joy and occasional disappointment, but it is in sharing these moments, great and less so, that our bond has been strengthened.
I love this club, I have said it before and I will say it again, and everything that it represents, for me, and for you…
When we celebrated my goalscoring record together, it wasn’t the goals themselves that have made me so happy, rather it was what they represented: a place in Juventus’s history, something I have dreamed of since I was a little boy but never imagined would become a reality.
I’m exceptionally proud to be a ‘juventino’, to be a flag-bearer, as I’m so often called, but in reality I’m only a small part of the Juventus whole that grows with the passing of the years.
If each of you look closely enough you’ll find your name there too…as this club continues to grow, everyone one of us will be needed: we will stand united!