Hartpury’s Smith rubs shoulders with some of football’s best

It’s not every day that you get to play against some of the world’s best football players, but that’s exactly what Hartpury’s Australian A-League star Matt Smith did as his side faced Juventus in Alessandro Del Piero’s final game Down Under.

The 31-year-old Sports Management Masters graduate, who has been plying his trade with Australian A-League champions Brisbane Roar for the past four years, was selected to play as part of an A-League ‘All Stars’ team, which included Italian legend Del Piero as captain.

Smith, who also has three national team appearances to his name, was handed the captaincy as Del Piero – Serie A’s all-time second top goal scorer and Juventus’s leading all-time appearance maker and record goal scorer – was substituted after 60 minutes.
The game caps a fantastic year for Smith who lifted the A-League trophy for a third time and celebrated the birth of his third child, Ava.

Juventus fielded a strong team including the likes of Carlos Tevez, World Cup winners Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon, as well as rising French star Paul Pogba.

Smith’s all-stars team was eventually beaten 3-2 despite finding themselves 2-0 up midway through the second half. Goals from Marcelo Carrusca and Tomi Jurric were cancelled out by second half strikes from Fernando Llorente, Pogba and Simone Pepe.