Sydney FC midfielder Brett Emerton has urged the A-League club's fans not to expect too much too soon from star signing Alessandro Del Piero.
The former Juventus forward and Italian World Cup winner played for almost two decades in Serie A and his decision to move to Sydney made headlines around the world.
And Emerton, who returned to Australia from Blackburn Rovers after more than 10 years in Europe, warned it will not be easy for Del Piero, 37, to adapt to the A-League.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, playing your football in Europe is much different to playing here in Australia," Emerton said. "It will take time to adapt. Hopefully it doesn't, hopefully he hits the ground running.
"But if he doesn't obviously people need to understand that and give him a little bit of time to adapt to the league."
Del Piero will have just three weeks of training with his new side before the A-League season-opener away to Wellington on October 6, when he will be thrust into the spotlight
Asked what advice he would give Del Piero about adjusting to the league, Emerton said: "Firstly, you can't underestimate this league.
"Not enough credit is given to the standard of the league here in Australia. It's a lot better than people give it credit for.
"You need to come here and if you're not committed 100% and go out there in each and every game and give your best then you're going to get found out.
"The weather conditions can be testing as well. It's hot, the pitches are quite hard and training on hard pitches day in, day out can take a toll on your body when it's not used to it.
"There's a lot of things to adjust too but he's a seasoned professional and I'm sure he'll be OK."