Italian football great Alessandro Del Piero has been announced as the newest member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Del Piero was inducted as the 56th Laureus Academy Member during a visit to the Tony Hawk Foundation in San Diego, then celebrated by joining the skateboard legend on his own private ramp.
New Academy Member Del Piero said: “Skateboarding is a little out of my comfort zone, but when Tony Hawk says ‘try this’, I am not going to say no. It was great to meet Tony and hear from him about the work of Laureus Sport for Good. Using sport to improve the lives of young people means very much to me. I am grateful to the members of the Laureus Academy for asking me to join them, It is a great honour.”
Tony Hawk said: “I am privileged to welcome Alessandro to the Laureus Family. At Laureus we are able to bring together people from different sports and different countries with a common goal of helping young people. Alessandro is a legendary soccer player, so it was fun to show him something new in the form of vertical skateboarding first hand. On behalf of all the members of the Laureus Academy, I thank Alessandro for his commitment and look forward to working with him in the future.”
One of the greatest Italian footballers, Alessandro Del Piero played 91 times for the Italian national team between 1995 and 2008, scoring 27 goals. He played in three FIFA World Cup finals – 1998, 2002 and 2006 - and four UEFA European Championships – 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.
His greatest moment for Italy was the 2006 World Cup where he scored the second goal in a 2–0 semi-final win over hosts Germany. In the final against France, which ended 1–1 after extra time, Del Piero scored a penalty in the shoot-out as Italy won the tournament for the fourth time. He said afterwards that winning the World Cup was his childhood dream
He was a player for Juventus for 19 years - 11 of which were as captain. He holds the Juventus club record for goals scored (290) and appearances (705). Del Piero was a member of the Juventus team which won the Serie A championship in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2012. Juventus also won the Champions League in 1996, beating Ajax on penalties in the final.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy and Laureus Ambassadors volunteer their time to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which has raised over €100 million and supported over 150 projects worldwide which use sport to tackle violence, discrimination and disadvantage.