Del Piero ready for challenge

Skipper scared at prospect of leaving Juve but up for challenge

Alessandro Del Piero: Not ready to retire just yet as he prepares to leave Juventus

Alessandro Del Piero admits it would have been a dream to end his career with Juventus but insists he is ready for a new challenge.

The 37-year-old's contract with the Bianconeri expires this summer and the club will not offer their captain a new deal.

While admitting the prospect of leaving the Turin giants this summer after 20 years at the club "scares him", Del Piero, who has been strongly linked with a move to Major League Soccer (MLS), insists he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

"I am the first to know when I will retire but not yet," Del Piero said in an interview with Vanity Fair Italian edition.

"My passion for the game is still very much alive."

Big change

He added: "I don't know how to imagine my future, it's going to be a big change and it scares me a little bit.

"It's like leaving home for a second time.

"But the way I approach this is as I did when I played the video games I liked as a child, that is to overcome a new level.

"Would I have wanted to end my career with the Juve colours? It was my dream.

"The past 20 years have been rich with emotions, with hard times and extraordinary ones.

"I have been able to achieve many of the club's records. But things have changed."

Difficult campaign

Del Piero holds the all-time goalscoring record at Juventus while he is also the club's all-time highest-capped player.

However, under coach Antonio Conte, Del Piero has seen his playing time reduced this season, making just 19 league appearances for the Bianconeri so far.

"It has been the most difficult campaign of my life," the veteran forward said. "I have been hit with a reality that I had never experienced before, that of not playing or playing very little.

"[Juventus president Andrea] Agnelli in October announced that this would be my last season at the club. It surprised me.

"But a captain can never forget his duties and what he represents.

"We are in the race to win the Coppa Italia and Serie A and we don't need any controversies because they have never been part of my career."