Juventus remains a "part of his life" but Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero, like a child, now wants to understand everything about India during his stint with Delhi Dynamos in the ISL, a tournament he hoped would help the 158-ranked national football team improve.
"I have never seen an Indian team playing but I will get to know more when I talk to my teammates. I hope ISL helps the national team," Del Piero said here on Friday.
The 39-year-old, a Juventus legend for life, will be turning out for Dynamos as their marquee player in the much-awaited franchise-based league, to be held in various venues across the country from October 12 to December 20.
Del Piero recalled his days at Turin and spoke about his thoughts on leaving the Serie A club, which he didn't leave even when it was demoted.
"It was extremely hard... those 19 years are a great part of my life. In fact, it is still a part of my life. It is my home and I will go back to Torino," the superstar striker and playmaker said.
Then he got talking about his latest challenge in a faraway land he wants to explore.
"My target for ISL is that we have to bring a lot of energy and passion and I hope we find that in India as well. I am like a child who wants to understand everything about India. At the end of this experience I want to know more about India," he said.
To start with, the modest Del Piero, also nicknamed 'Il Fenomeno Vero' or The Real Phenomenon, thanked the city for the "very warm welcome" and said: "I am happy to be in India but one day is not enough".
He arrived in the capital after a 24-hour flight along with his brother-cum manager and a photographer friend.
"Just read a lot of things about India. One day is not enough but I completely understand that this is a completely different world than mine. I am really curious, food, religion, culture, I want to learn everything about you, it will be great," Del Piero said.
"There are many fans here but it's a different world and it's a new challenge for me. I am very excited to be here. I have been to many Asian countries, but this is my first time in India," he added.
Speaking about the new tournament, he said, "ISL league is very important, the first few games are going to be important, to understand another country and another culture is a huge challenge."