Official release from Sydney FC
Sydney FC's Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero was this evening recognised by having his feet struck in concrete before 500,000 people hung from buildings and jammed Jesolo's roads for a ticker tape parade that finished in a street that now carries his name.
It was a huge evening of recognition for Del Piero, whose star power in Italy has to be seen to be believed.
Del Piero became the first athlete to be added to Jesolo's "Walk of Stars" and had his feet struck in concrete and laid alongside some of the biggest names in Italian stage and screen history at a ceremony on a packed Jesolo beach.
Following that ceremony he was shifted into a Rolls Royce and driven for 7km around the streets of Jesolo for one hour where more than 500,000 people lined the streets, stopping his car from moving at times as fans flocked to the man who transcends sport in Italy.
The street parade concluded at a piazza in downtown Jesolo where Del Piero's team mates were amongst 3,000 jammed into the square to witness the unveiling of a street sign that now carries the name Alessandro Del Piero.
The crowd was then treated to a 45 minute show where Del Piero was shown highlights of his career from winning the World Cup to his final game with Juventus to his move to Sydney while explaining his feelings and memories.
The Del Piero recognition kicked off a night of celebration in Jesolo for the annual event, which sees more than 2,000,000 people descend on the Adriatic Sea town every August, over-running the 28,000 people who call this home.
The festivities were witnessed by Del Piero's Sydney FC team mates with defender Pascal Bosschaart describing the night as "amazing".
"To see Alessandro receive the honour of having a street named after him was amazing for me and the rest of the boys lucky enough to be there," Bosschaart said. "It is amazing to witness how the people of Italy love him and respect him and we are lucky enough to play football with him."
That football continues tomorrow as the Sydney FC team goes through another double session the day before taking on Vicenza Calcio at the stadio Comunale Picchi in Jesolo on Tuesday 13 August. Kick-off is at 6pm (2am Thursday Sydney time).