Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini says he will return to Turin at some point in the future but he isn’t ready to be a club director yet. The 37-year-old is poised to join MLS side LAFC in the coming weeks, but will play one final match in Italy before calling time on his Azzurri career.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Chiellini explained his hopes for the future and his desire to return to Turin at some point:
I’ve received a lot from Juventus, but I’d like to experience something lighter, even in private life.
Being a director is very demanding, and one must learn and be prepared. Turin is our home and we’ll surely return here.
Chiellini will play one final game in Azzurri colours when Italy play Argentina later this week
The last chance, one final game against Leo Messi, one of the best players in the history of the game. I am ready to enjoy this game after Juventus–Inter. It’s my only thought and I want to play at a high level.
Wembley is a symbolic place where the European and South American champions will meet. Without this chance, I would have retired in Turkey, in the sadness of Konya, because the Nations League belongs to the new course.
I remember that at half-time, I told the lads to remain calm even if we were one goal down. I was sure that we could have made a comeback if we hadn’t suffered counterattacks. We were serene, we felt their fear.
World Cup? We got the first game against Bulgaria wrong. It came too early. I could barely play for 20 minutes and the younger ones had one and a half games in their legs.
That result affected the whole path and we got to decisive games without important players. The success at Wembley was inebriating and, perhaps, we paid a high price for that too. We could have lost against Portugal, but we should have got there. The defeat against North Macedonia was unacceptable.
Mancini is the right man to bring this project forward. Young players need time but can develop with him. I think about Manuel Locatelli, who would not have played if the Euros had been played in 2020. He was a key player.
Think of Sandro Tonali, he has become a different player. I noticed his qualities the first time he joined the national team and I am happy that they have now emerged.
Bastoni? Alessandro is left-footed, like me, and is becoming stronger at an international level. He must have time to learn from his mistakes, just like me.
We can see the results of the work on young players who are technically evolved. However, we can’t lose some distinctive characteristics, such as the ability to mark.
I made my debut under Marcello Lippi, he had the same quality that I see in Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri. He could read the games and it’s something that nobody teaches you.
Roberto Donadoni was underestimated and paid for his introverted nature. Cesare Prandelli taught me the tempo of football, we played at a high level for two years. Roberto Mancini has surprised me. He looked like a tough coach and not too emphatic as an opponent. But I was impressed by his humanity and his ability to transmit self-esteem. He immediately told us that we should have aimed to win the Euros.
Most challenging striker? I’ve always been in love with Antonio Cassano, an incredible talent. He missed consistency and patience, but I’ve always been on good terms with him, even with his exuberance.
Luis Suarez has always sent me mad. I faced him for the first time in 2010 when he was playing for Ajax and I immediately noticed that he was a top striker. It was stimulating to face him. He has uncommon shrewdness and one always needs to find some tricks to stop him.