SYDNEY FC fans can breathe easy - Alessandro Del Piero will be around for at least the next 12 months.
The Italian superstar announced this afternoon he will activate the second year of his $2m two-year deal to remain in the sky blue.
Overseas clubs were lining up with bids to tempt Del Piero away from the Harbour City but the 38-year-old and his family are in love with Sydney and wanted to extend their stay.
"I chose Sydney FC at the beginning of this season because I wanted to show my love of football in another country and I have enjoyed the challenge and my time at Sydney FC and in Australia.
"I have always said I want to continue that for next season but first we must work hard for success on the field for the rest of this season."
FFA chief David Gallop said Del Piero's decision to stay is a huge show of faith for Australian football and the A-League.
"If he'd gone just one season then people may have questioned how he felt about the A-League," Gallop said.
"This is very much him saying he had a great experience and he wants to have it again.
"That's great for football in Australia and the A-League and it's exciting to have him signing for a second season."
The decision to stay and activate the second year of his $2 million a season deal was met with delight by Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow, who told the club's website the following.
"I am delighted to announce that Alessandro Del Piero will continue to be a Sydney FC player for the 2013/14 season," said Barlow.
"Alessandro’s arrival at Sydney FC has been a wonderful success for Sydney FC and the A-League both domestically and internationally.
"His performances on the field have been tremendous, highlighted by him becoming the leading goalscorer for Sydney FC in a single season, but off the field he has also delivered unprecedented interest and profile for Sydney FC across all levels of the club.
"We look forward to working together with Alessandro to increase the profile of Sydney FC and football in Australia as we strive for success on the pitch for the remainder of this season and next."
Things are also falling into place on the field, where Del Piero has fired a club record 11 goals to revive Sydney's finals hopes.
Sydney FC officials have worked overtime to seal the contract extension, knowing ADP is so vital to the club's growth on and off the park.