Buffon braces for old mate Del Piero

Gianluigi Buffon says it will be a “beautiful experience” to captain Juventus against his former team-mate and Bianconeri legend Alessandro Del Piero – but he’ll be doing all he can to stop him scoring.

One of the world’s biggest football clubs arrived in Sydney on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Foxtel A-League All Stars at ANZ Stadium. 

It will be the first time Del Piero, who is captain of the All Stars, will line-up against the club he won almost every major honour at in a glittering 19-year stay.

Veteran goal-keeper Buffon is excited to be lining up against Del Piero, his former team-mate for over a decade at the club, and admits it will be a surreal experience to see the 39-year-old on the other side of the pitch. 

“Having a game against Alex will be something completely new for Juventus of course for me as well as Ale was already at Juventus before I started my career,” Buffon told a large media throng at the Sydney Opera House on Friday. 

“It will be a beautiful experience to have this game against him. 

“I hope there are a few chances to entertain the public but hopefully these chances won’t be Alex scoring a goal against me.” 

Buffon, superstar striker Carlos Tevez, defender Patrice Evra and new manager Massimiliano Allegri fronted the media on Friday afternoon before a light training run at Kogarah Oval.

The Italian champions are in Sydney for a week as part of their 2014 Asian Tour, before heading home to start their campaign for a fourth-straight league title. 

Allegri has taken over the reins after the shock resignation of Antonio Conte last month and admits his side have their work cut-out to retain the Serie A championship. 

“This year will probably be much harder than the last years because there’s more competition than before,” Allegri said. 

“The opposition are better hand have strengthened their group quite significantly. 

“Juventus is still favourite but it will be more challenging championship this year.” 

The first focus for Juve though is the clash with the All Stars, with more than 60,000 fans expected to turn out on Sunday night. 

Star midfielder Arturo Vidal, a transfer target for Manchester United, has travelled with the Juventus squad but is no certainty to play due to a knee injury.

“He’s been running since yesterday but we will wait day-by-day to see what his condition is and what is the best moment for him to start playing again,” Allegri said.