Alessandro Del Piero does not want or expect to have any influence over who will be appointed the new coach of Sydney FC.
As the search continues for a successor to the departed Ian Crook, who resigned on Sunday, the Italian superstar said he has not been asked by club officials to open his footballing rolodex and offer a recommendation.
Club legend Steve Corica will take the reins on a caretaker basis, starting with Friday night’s clash with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, but he will not be given the job on a full-time basis.
Names from Ernie Merrick to Gordon Strachan to Avram Grant and everywhere in between have been linked to the post.
And Del Piero is prepared to leave the decision entirely in the club’s hands.
“I think everyone has to do his job. My job is to play, not choose the trainer,” he said after touching down in Brisbane for Friday night’s clash with the Roar.
“That’s the job for Tony (Pignata, CEO) and Scott (Barlow, chairman) and the owner. They have to choose the right way but we have to focus on tomorrow now, not for the new coach.”
Reports have suggested an Italian coach could be lured to Sydney, with the likes of ex-Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli, current Reggina manager Davide Dionigi and Luigi di Canio, formerly of Genoa, all thrown up as possibilities.
Vialli is an old Juventus team-mate of Del Piero’s but the 38-year-old suggested the FA Cup-winning coach is a long shot.
“(It would be) hard, I think. I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s hard. Maybe tonight I call him and after I can say,” he joked.
But the greater interest in the A-League and Australian football means the possibility is there for Sydney FC to sign a big-name European coach – maybe not now, because of timing, but in the future, Del Piero said.
“From Europe, especially in Italy, there is a lot of interest here now from coaches (after) what’s happened this week,” he said.
“I think now, we can’t, but next year, maybe there is something that can change. I don’t know.
“The eyes from Italy (looking at) Australia is really open.
“That’s why we have to win – because they call me all the time and say, ‘What’s up, Ale?’
“I’m joking, but it’s true – everybody watches here with a lot of curious eyes.”
And those eyes will all be fixed squarely on Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, when Sydney take on fellow strugglers Brisbane Roar.
Del Piero is aware of the once-intimidating aura the Roar carried with them for the past two seasons – but just because it is gone now, it doesn’t mean it can’t return just as quickly.
“I know, we know, they are the best team of the last two years because the results say that,” he said.
“Now they’ve changed a little bit and they’re in a trouble moment like us but they still played good last week and the week before.
“That’s why tomorrow’s game is very hard for us. We have to improve. Definitely we have to play better, we have to put heart and everything we can into this week.”
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