On the road with... Chelsea: It's the tie of the round - and Del Piero's wearing it
10 March 2009 01:12
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Sportsmail online's series 'On The Road With.' brings you the behind-the-scenes accounts of following British teams on their European adventures this season. Today's comes from Neil Ashton, who is with Chelsea in Turin ahead of their Champions League match against Juventus. The sports editor was on the phone early this morning demanding a tie. Not just any old tie, though. No, no, he wants the tie Alessandro Del Piero was wearing at the Stadio Olimpico last night.
He had been flicking through photos of the fashionista-stroke-world class footballer for this morning's edition of the Daily Mail and pictured himself in the very same effort.
'I can't just rip it from his neck. This is Del Piero.'
'Get me Del Piero's tie.'
By then it was too late to wrestle Del Piero to the floor, 12 hours after he had got off his chair at the pre-match press conference, tied the button on his beautifully tailored Giorgio Armani club suit and adjusted the knot on The Tie of Ties before sweeping his hands through his Elvis-style haircut before walking to the team coach.
Cool guy, for sure, but The Tie of Ties will not suit the sports editor. 'Yes it will. Get me Del Piero's tie.'
Hand it to Del Piero because it is a nice tie, it is The Tie of Ties, a black and white or bianconeri effort that is a throwback to Carnaby Street in the early Eighties when everyone in London had a moody look about them and thought they were Jimmy from Quadrophenia.
They don't make them like that anymore, certainly not in England, but this is Del Piero we are talking about and he can do pretty much get his hands on whatever he likes.
He is a pretty cool guy, but wearing his tie won't turn you into a striker with 254 goals and a World Cup winner's medal (you produce a damn good newspaper though, boss).
So the search is on, with less than 24 hours left in Turin before the Champions League takes this series on to Rome and a date with Arsenal in the other Olympic Stadium.
There are a few efforts on market stalls, charcoal affairs with a hint of white, but it is not The Tie of Ties. Apparently replicas are available in the Juventus superstore in the centre of town, which is a bit of a hike when there is an extremely long lunch to be had in Due Mondi, Fabio Capello's favourite haunt when he was manager of Juve.
Plus, they are not the same model as Del Piero's. Apparently, just like the player himself, it is one of a kind.
Funny The Boss didn't ask for Del Piero's trainers, though. At 34 and married with two children, he really should know better than to wear a pair of gold-spangled adidas shelltoes with his suit, but that is the Italian way.
Not only that, Del Piero can ask for anything. So, it seems, can The Boss.