Thursday, May 1, 2008

Del Piero Set To Match Maldini Record

Alessandro Del Piero will match Paolo Maldini’s record of having played in seven major international tournaments, if he is chosen for Euro 2008.

Maldini holds the record for the most major competitions played in by an Italian, having participated in three European Championships in 1988, 1996 and 2000, and the four World Cups of 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002.

The Milan legend would have played at Euro 92’, however Italy failed to make it to the finals after finishing behind Russia in their qualifying group.

Del Piero meanwhile has taken part in six successive finals, playing at Euro 96, France 98’, Euro 2000, Korea/Japan 2002, Euro 2004 and the victorious 2006 World Cup.

If the Golden Boy is selected for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland, he will equal Maldini’s record of seven.
For a long while it had seemed unlikely that Del Piero would travel across the border, but some stunning form in 2008 appears to have persuaded Donadoni.

“A few months ago I wasn’t sure, but now I would choose him for the plane,” Donadoni said in La Repubblica earlier this week.

“The facts speak for themselves.”

Del Piero is the Azzurri’s joint-fifth highest scorer of all time alongside Pippo Inzaghi, with 25 goals from 85 appearances.