Former Italy and Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero made the most anticipated of a collection of unsuccessful debuts by international stars in Australia's A-League on the weekend, playing in Sydney FC's 2-0 loss in the league's opening round.
Though short of recent match play, the 37-year-old Del Piero played a full 90 minutes for his new club in its match against the Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand but couldn't prevent defeat.
Former England striker Emile Heskey played 70 minutes in his debut for the Newcastle Jets, who were beaten 2-0 by Adelaide United, while Japan star Shinji Ono took the field in the 59th minute of the Western Sydney Wanderers' first-ever A-League match that ended in a 0-0 draw with Central Coast.
While none of the league's glamor signings finished on the winning side, all showed enough to suggest they might bring the gravitas to the league that their teams and football officials are hoping for.
The spotlight in the opening round fell most brightly on Del...