Del Piero moved by birthday reception in Kochi

Delhi Dynamo FC captain and marquee player Alessandro Del Piero may have not got the perfect birthday present today in a win for his side, but the Juventus legend was happy that his team played well and was able to keep a clean sheet against Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

“It is a good point for us, being away we didn’t lose today, we created a few chances to score and the goalkeeper made some important saves, so overall, it was good not to lose. Now, we stay focused and concentrate on the next game,” said the celebrated Italian forward who turned 40 today.

When asked at the post match press conference about the referee’s decision to not award them a penalty for a handball in the rival box, Del Piero said that the incident was now history. “What can we say now about the decisions made by the referee during the game, because the game has now ended. The game didn’t go our way and the result of which is the score is nil-nil,” he opined.

He further added that playing in Kerala was a difficult proposition because the home team had come in with the momentum of winning their previous game and playing in front of 50,000 home supporters. “We were coming in from a long away trip, so our main challenge was to stay focused after two losses and play the best we can,” the Italian said.

In reply to a question about what head coach Harm van Veldhoven told them at half-time, Del Piero replied that the coach told them to just maintain their concentration because the team was playing well: “We adapted well after 15 minutes, we also created chances so the only thing the coach told us was to remain together and stay focused.”

Del Piero was moved by the reception that he received on his birthday and the adoration of the fans at the stadium and was very pleased and humbled by the fact that fans are supporting him even in India.

“I saw the banners that some of the supporters were holding up for me and also for my birthday,” the visibly moved striker observed. “This is amazing that I had the opportunity to share this moment with the people during and after the game, it was very emotional for me.”

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