.. width="530" height="370" .... width="425" height="350" ..Alessandro Del Piero was born on November 9, 1974, at Conegliano, north of Italy. He has a brother, called Stefano, who is nine years older. His mother, Bruna, is a housekeeper and his father, Gino, who was an electrician, passed away in February, 2001. His family has always been very present in his life. Alex has always had football in his blood. As a kid, he lived at a rural property with his family (they still own the place), and played at the backyard. His two friends, Nelso and Pierpaolo (with whom he still keeps in touch) used to play with him. The three of them wanted to become footballers, but only Del Piero managed to do so.Del Piero once said that he used to play as a goalkeeper, at a time he was very ill, for reasons that included also him playing a lot. His mother thought it would be better for him if he played as a goalkeeper, since he wouldn't sweat and the posibilities of him getting sick were smaller. But one day, Stefano told their mother: "Don't you see that Alex is good in the attack?"Alex and Stefano are very close. Stefano, who is a married man, used to be a footballer, having even played for Sampdoria. But due to injuries, he was forced to leave the sport. Stefano helps Alex investing the money he gets, from shares on the stock market to real properties.Apparently, Alessandro also has an adopted sister, called Beatrice. Little is known about her: she has originally a Romanian background, and is still a little girl (around six/seven years of age). This has never been a sure fact, though.Del Piero left home at the tender age of 13, when he went to Padova to play football. There, he shared an apartment with ten other boys. He has been living away from his family ever since, and he once said he gets to visit them two or three times a year. Luckily they can all visit him at Turin, where Alex lives.He prefers the sea better than mountains, and he also likes rain. Dancing is among the many things he likes to do. He has taken ballroom dancing classes with his former team-mate Angelo Di Livio!With his first wages at Juventus, he bought a blue Lancia Delta Integrale, which he still drives.Alex is very reserved about his love life, preferring not to say anything about it. "I am very careful with my private life", he once said. When he first arrived at Juventus, it seems he dated a girl named Irene, who worked at the Delle Alpi staduim bar at the time.His reserve, however, was not enough to keep the press from finding out about his fiancÃ©e, Sonia Amoruso. They have been together for about four years, and she has been by his side in difficult times, such as the Euro 2000 final and Alex's father's death. Rumours that the couple is getting married are constant, but nothing is ever confirmed. Sonia has once said that living in Turin helps a lot when it comes to this aspect of their lives: "At Rome or Milan we'd be in the spotlight, but here we can live in peace," she once said.The couple made their first public appearance on October 1st, 2001, at the Football Oscars cerimony, in which Alex won the award for Italy's most loved player. Sonia, who started working as a saleswoman, has now her own shop. The boutique - named SatÃ¹ - was opened in March 1st, 2002. Present at the event were the Juventus players and other celebrities. Alex was there for his girl, of course, but only as a spectator - it was time for his beautiful brunette to shine.When it comes to studies, Alex has said that he likes to study to learn new things. He has a degree in accountancy (he has graduated together with his brother), but he's done it above all for his parents, as his love for football has always been stronger. In 1999, he's signed a contract with CEPU, an Italian insitution which helps the youngsters in their university exams. With this, Alex has subscribed to Sociology, at the University of Urbino.In May 30, 2000, his contract with Cepu ended. But he soon announced a new sponsor: computer trademark Compact.The first team he ever played for was San Vendemiano, from his home town. At the age of 13, Alex joined Padova, where shared an apartment with ten other boys. Since then, he lives apart from his family, getting to visit them two or three times a year. Luckily they can all visit him at Turin, where Alex lives.At Padova, he played for two seasons and scored one goal in 14 games in Serie B. In 1993, he had offers from Juventus and Milan. Piero Aggradi, the sporting director of Padova and the man who "discovered" Alex, decided that things should go like Del Piero wanted. He was 18 years old when he moved to Juventus, the team he's always supported.With his new team, he played for Primavera team (juniors team), and won the Viareggio tournament. He had some problems with the previous season's injuries, but when he got better, he returned to the main team. His first match on Serie A was against Foggia, on September 12, 1993. The result: Juventus 1 - Foggia 1. In the next game against Reggiana he scored his first Serie A goal. In his first full season as a starter in Serie A he scored 8 goals in 29 games and brought the Scudetto back to Turin after eight years.When Alex was 22, he had to serve the Italian Army, where he stood for ten months. But all he had to do was to play football, which must not have been a hard task at all!Alessandro had lots of glory moments with Juve, scoring decisive goals. In the 96/97 season Toyota Cup, Juventus played the final against River Plate in Tokio. He scored the goal that led Juventus to the world champions title. Another remarkable occasion was the game against Fiorentina, in the 93/94 season. The score? 2-2. Alex scored the third goal, that became part of the Italian football history and began the ride that led La Vecchia Signora to its 23th Scudetto.In the 97/98 season, he won the award of Best Italian Player, conceived by the Players' Association. He's been a Golden Ball contender, but never won the award.Unfortunately, his career's had some moments to forget: the European Championships - in 1996 he played only 45 minutes during the whole competition; in 2000, many said he was to blame for Italy's defeat to France on the final -; the 1998 World Cup - he was not at his best shape -; and in November, 1998, the knee injury which took him out of football until the end of the 98/99 season. It happened one day before his 24th birthday, in the Serie A match against Udinese.In June 29, 1999 he signed what many consider the most important of his life: a five year contract with Juventus. It brought Alex a 10 billion lire salary a year and, for a while, the title of best paid player in the world, staying ahead of players such as Vieri, Ronaldo and teammate Filippo Inzaghi. This also meant he would be with Juventus during, at least, 11 years.The 1999/2000 season was a very important one for Del Piero. After a long recovery, he would be finally back to the fields, not only for the happiness of Juventus supporters, but for football fans in general. But, there was always a question in some people's minds: would he ever get back to his great form of two seasons ago?Del Piero answered with a lot of work. He had a good season, being able to score 15 goals, and becoming a specialist in penalty kicks. He scored nine out of nine - eight in Serie A and one for Italy.But he also impressed for his attitude. Fans could notice a more mature player, who sometimes preferred to pass the ball to a mate instead of shooting. This could be noticed in the many assists Del Piero had this season, being the leading assistman for the bianconeri. He also sacricifed himself many times for the good of the team, playing more like a midfielder than an attacker.Alex got a marvellous reward for all the hard work: a goal from open play, as many people (and Alex himself) admitted he missed, on the penultimate matchday, against Parma. A header straight to the lower right corner the goal, making it impossible for Buffon to keep the ball from entering. Juve won 1-0, but lost with the same score on their final match at Perugia, when they couldn't lose at any cost.Lazio won the championship that season, but the fans will fondly remember Alex for his great comeback season and for his immense contribution to Juventus.Alex had another chance to finally shine when playing for his country during the Euro 2000. But the hard critics, the competition with Totti, and especially his two missed chances on the final against France didn't let his dream come true.Finished the Euro 2000, Alex got some deserved vacations at Polinesia. And they seemed to have done Alex very good. He scored in the very first match of the 200/01 season, against Napoli, a great goal from his zone! His passes for the team-mates and brilliant plays are also still constant, for his many fans' happiness.The week from February 11 to February 18, 2001 was quite an "eventful" one. On the 11th, Juve played once again versus Napoli and Alex scored once again, a free kick once again from his zone, with the help of Napoli goalkeeper Fontana. Two days after that, his dad, Gino, passed away due to a long time disease. That was the explanation behind Alessandro's unstable performances, since he is so attached to his family.Finally on the 18th, when playing against Bari, Alex scored a truly wonderful goal, that was surely dedicated to a special person. He let go all of his feelings on the crazy celebration that followed. He had entered as a sub as the score was 0-0. A great goal, in a great time, to give Juve a win and Alex more support and confidence. On the following matches, he had very good performances, showing that Godot had definitely arrived.Alex had to wait some more time to win a title, but it was worthwhile. On the last matchday of the 2001/2002 season, Juve beat Udinese 2-0 - with Del Piero scoring the second goal - to clinch their 26th Scudetto. Three months later, the great number 10 scored the two goals that gave Juve the Italian SuperCup title, against Parma. Between the two titles, Del Piero went to Korea-Japan with Italy and scored his first goal in a World Cup.Definitely not bad!