Alessandro Del Piero of Sydney FC celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 17 A-League match between Sydney FC and the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium on January 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Alessandro Del Piero of Sydney FC celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 17 A-League match between Sydney FC and the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium on January 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

The 'real' Del Piero shows off his skills against Phoenix

THEY say cream always rises to the top, and Sydney FC fans will be hoping it is not too little to late after Alessandro Del Piero's wonder show against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.

The 38-year-old finally showed supporters just what he is capable of (if they didn't know already) with four goals - three of them magnificent strikes - and an all-round performance which had onlookers purring.

But the Sydney supporters could be forgiven for asking why has it taken until round 17 to see the real Del Piero.

The Italian veteran was sublime in Sydney's record A-League success over the Phoenix.

Wellington was woeful as the Sky Blues were earlier in the season when they were thumped 7-2 by Central Coast Mariners.

But this time Del Piero was magnificent. Not only were his goals superb, his all-round display was arguably the best ever seen in the A-League's short history.

However, it has taken until late in the season for the Italian to really step up to the plate.

He has delivered in fits and starts for the Sky Blues, but until Saturday no one had seen the full package promised when Del Piero signed with all that fanfare before the season started.

So where has the real Del Piero been?

It took him some time to adjust to his surroundings or more importantly it took the other players in the team a long time to adjust to playing with a football legend.

Del Piero's class was there to see but what was also obvious was the rest of the team was struggling to come up to his expectations, and more importantly not able to play to his high standards.

A number of times earlier in the campaign it seemed Del Piero and his teammates were not on the same wavelength.

He would make runs and expect the killer pass or play the cutting-edge ball himself and players were slow to react and the frustration was there for all to see.

Then came Del Piero's hamstring problem and the quitting of coach Ian Crook and once more the Italian international was unable to influence much for the Sky Blues.

But now it seems there is more than just a glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel for the Sydney supporters, in fact, for everyone involved at the club.

The turnaround at Sydney under Frank Farina has been remarkable.

Four wins and two draws since the former Socceroos coach's arrival in round nine have seen his team rise from the bottom.

And there is a distinct possibility Sydney FC could be in the top six come the pointy end of the season if this revival continues.


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