Stephan Lichtsteiner is a Swiss professional footballer who plays for the Switzerland national team. An attacking right-back or wing-back, he is known for his energetic runs down the right wing, as well as his stamina and athleticism, which earned him the nicknames “Forrest Gump” and “The Swiss Express”. He began his professional career with Grasshopper Zürich, winning a league title in 2002–03, and moved to Lille in 2005, helping the French club to Champions League qualification in his first season with the team. In 2008, he joined Italian club Lazio, and won both the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana the following year. Since joining Juventus in 2011, Lichtsteiner has won twelve honours, including six consecutive Serie A titles with the club. A full international since 2006, Lichtsteiner has earned over 90 caps for Switzerland, making him their fifth most capped player of all time. He has represented his country at two UEFA European Championships and as many FIFA World Cups.
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Juventus confirmed on 18 October 2011 that the 2011–12 season would be Del Piero’s last with the club. The 2011–12 season under new manager Antonio Conte, his former Juventus teammate, saw Del Piero being used sparingly, and mainly as a substitute, because of the summer arrival of forward Mirko Vučinić from Roma. Del Piero scored his first goal in the new Juventus Stadium on 24 January 2012, in a 3–0 win over Roma in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia. Later in the season, Del Piero stated that he was surprised at Juventus president Andrea Agnelli’s announcement regarding the club’s decision not to offer him a new contract. In the second leg of Juventus’s clash with Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-finals, Del Piero finished off a brilliant move by Juventus as they secured a 2–2 draw to progress to the final with a 4–3 aggregate win. On 25 March, Del Piero helped Juventus defeat Inter by scoring the second goal of the match in a 2–0 victory, his first goal of the Serie A season. In Juventus’ match against Lazio on 11 April, Del Piero replaced Vučinić in the second half, making his 700th appearance for Juventus, and then went on to score from a free kick to earn his side a 2–1 victory; the result also enabled Juventus to return to the top of the Serie A table.
Tim Cup Final
Juventus vs Napoli
Match Worn Shirt
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The 2012 Tim Cup Final was the final match of the 2011–12 Coppa Italia, the 64th season of the top cup competition in Italian football. The match was played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday, 20 May 2012 between Juventus and Napoli. Napoli won the match 2–0, with Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamšík scoring. The cup victory was Napoli’s fourth in the competition. The two teams also later faced each other in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, as Napoli were cup champions and Juventus were crowned 2012 Serie A Champions.
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Del Piero’s final match for Juventus was in the Tim Cup Final on 20 May against Napoli. Del Piero was substituted in the 67th minute for Vučinić as his Juventus career came to an end; he received a standing ovation from both the Juventus and Napoli fans. Following the game, he confirmed that after his 19-year spell with Juventus, he did not plan to retire. He then left the club and became a free agent. For this match a special “ADP – ONE LOVE” patch was made and ironed on chest. All of the players had this badge on their shirts to celebrate Alessandro Del Piero’s farewell game with Juventus F.C.
Match Worn Boots
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On 27 June 2011, Juventus confirmed that Lichtsteiner had undergone a medical in Turin and reached an agreement with Lazio to pay €10 million in three installments. The transfer was confirmed on 1 July 2011. He marked his debut on 11 September 2011 against Parma by scoring the first goal in the 4–1 home victory, the first league goal to be scored in Juventus’ new stadium. Juventus went on to win the Scudetto and he played a vital part in their strong defensive record, only missing a handful of matches through injury and suspensions. Lichtsteiner repeated his opening matchday feat the following season by converting his left-sided counterpart Kwadwo Asamoah’s pass in the 2–0 win. He played fewer matches during 2013–14 season due to injuries but contributed three goals in all competitions and won his third consecutive Serie A title. His crossing and ball-playing ability came to the fore in Conte’s 3–5–2 formation. As a result, he finished the season as Juve’s top assist-maker in the league with eight. On 6 June 2015, Lichtsteiner started for Juventus in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final as the team were defeated 3–1 by Barcelona at Berlin’s Olympiastadion; he was involved in Álvaro Morata’s temporary equalising goal. On 23 September 2015, Lichtsteiner was substituted at half time during a league match against Frosinone due to breathing difficulty. It was later necessary for heart surgery to be performed to correct cardiac arrhythmia, which caused him to be out for a month. On 3 November 2015, Lichtsteiner returned from injury, starting against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 2015–16 Champions League and scoring the equalizing goal in the 44th minute of a 1–1 away draw; the goal was later voted one of the best goals of the tournament that season. At the beginning of the 2016–17 season, Lichtsteiner was excluded from Juventus’s squad for the UEFA Champions League group stage; this was due to the fact that the club had signed rightback Dani Alves, and had already filled their squad quota, as Juventus were also required to have four club youth products in the 25-men squad, even though initially the only former youth product in the first team was Claudio Marchisio. Thus, Lichtsteiner was excluded to make way for other players. Juventus had also re-signed Juan Cuadrado on loan, which meant that Lichsteiner would face competition for the starting right fullback/wingback/winger position, leading to rumours that he would be leaving the club; nevertheless, he later stated that he would be remaining with Juventus. Despite competition for a starting spot, Lichtsteiner took part in the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana on 23 December 2016, as one of the starting eleven, as Juventus lost to Milan on penalties. On 2 February 2017, Lichsteiner renewed his contract until 30 June 2018.