Posted: Thursday October 11, 2012 11:38AM ; Updated: Thursday October 11, 2012 11:38AM

Del Piero rejected Liverpool offer due to Heysel

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Alessandro Del Piero
Alessandro Del Piero spent nearly 20 years with Juventus before joining Sydney FC.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

MILAN (AP) -- Former Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero says he signed with Sydney FC rather than Liverpool out of respect for the Heysel Stadium disaster.

Del Piero tells the Gazzetta dello Sport that when an offer from Liverpool came "the negotiations with Sydney were already at an advanced stage and then I also thought about what happened at Heysel. Juventus and Liverpool have been able to repair their relationship, but for a lot of people that tragedy is unforgettable.''

During the 1985 European Cup final at Heysel in Belgium, 39 people were killed - most of them Juventus supporters - when riots broke out and a wall separating Liverpool and Juve fans collapsed.

The 37-year-old Del Piero made his A-League debut in Sydney's 2-0 loss at Wellington last weekend.

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