Del Piero says room for improvement after 3 games


SYDNEY (AP) -Alessandro Del Piero has given himself a passing grade for his first three matches with Sydney FC, although he sees room for improvement in his A-League performance.

The former Juventus and Italy striker has scored two goals, including the winner in last weekend's 1-0 win over new side Western Sydney.

"I'm not 100 percent, definitely ... but I'm feeling good because I'm training every day," said Del Piero, who will play his 800th professional match, including club and international games, against the Perth Glory on Sunday.

"After five weeks, I'm happy to be in this condition and hope to do my best in two or three weeks."

The 37-year-old Del Piero spent 19 seasons with Juventus, two with Padova as a youngster and played 91 internationals for Italy, including a World Cup win in 2006.

He signed a two-year deal with Sydney in early September and admitted Wednesday he never expected his 800th match to take place in Australia.

"If I'm honest, no, but I'm happy it will happen here," Del Piero said. "It (800 games) is a long time. I broke a lot of records in Italy. Now I start here.

"When I played my first game ... I was 18 and I didn't know what would happen with the future. I had a lot of dreams and a lot of them have happened and I'm lucky for that."

Del Piero received a controversial penalty in the win over the Wanderers but denied suggestions by Western Sydney goalkeeper Ante Covic that the Italian star was receiving favorable treatment from referees because of his status.

"Absolutely not," Del Piero laughed. "For sure, no. Unfortunately, not."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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