Alessandro Del Piero says he is eager to make his move to A-League club Sydney FC a success, with the Italy and Juventus icon due to arrive in Australia on Sunday morning.
Del Piero has signed a two-year deal with the two-time A-League champions, turning down offers from Liverpool, Celtic and FC Sion in the process. As he boarded the flight at Milan's Malpensa airport on Saturday, the 37-year-old revealed his excitement over his career shift.
"There is plenty of healthy tension, enthusiasm, attentiveness and a huge wilingness to do well. I cannot wait to get going, and I am ready to make my full debut.
"The No. 10 jersey will be on my shoulders in Sydney, and the fact that captain Terry McFlynn has offered me the armband is a massive gesture that has really affected me," Del Piero said.
Del Piero is likely to be greeted by thousands of fans at Sydney Airport, with a special unveiling of the player scheduled to take place at Allianz Stadium early next week. The forward could make his first appearance for his new club in a pre-season friendly with the Newcastle Jets next Saturday, pending clearance from coach Ian Crook.
Meanwhile, Del Piero ensured fans in Italy were aware he would return one day and appeared emotional upon leaving his homeland.
"I am not saying farewell to Italy, only a goodbye for a new adventure," he said. "The airplane I am about to get has a special flavour to it, let's see what it brings, but it is one with lots of emotions which are both different and unique for me.
"The first thing I am thinking about is how I have everything I need, as it is a move that is not like any I have ever made before. I will go there with lots of enthusiasm though.
"I have already said in my press conference that my love for the Juventus fans still burns bright, and that this is only a goodbye for now."