In an interview earlier this week, Juventus and Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini hints his possible retirement after the European Championship next summer. The 103-time Italy international has appeared an incredible 510 times for the Bianconeri, winning a total of 18 trophies for the club. Chiellini’s contract to domestic club Juventus will expire by next summer.
“I don’t know, it could be nice like that. I won’t rule it out,” the 36-year old said at a press conference. “I find it hard to look ahead. I’ll tell you the truth, if I arrive at the European Championship, it means I’m back at my level. I’d be happy to have a year crowned by being a protagonist there. “I don’t want to think about what will come after that.”
Chiellini suffered a serious injury at the start of 2019-20 and never fully recovered during the season. Defender Leonardo Bonucci took over his role for Juventus and worn the captain’s armband when the Italian giants won the season with the sacked Maurizio Sarri. Juventus have wrapped up their virus-hit season with their ninth successive Serie A titles following a 2-0 winagainst Sampdoria.
“In the last year, I haven’t played and had continuity,” he said. “I hope to play as much as possible and I want to enjoy what I will do in the last months. At this age, I can’t make long term plans.” Chiellini is part of Roberto Mancini’s first team and will return in two UEFA Nations League matches against Bosnia and at the Artemio Franchi three days before visiting the Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena.
When asked about Juventus’ new coach Andrea Pirlo, he claim that ‘it’s not right to compare’ him to former Juve boss Maurizio Sarri. “Everyone hoped to have a different type of championship and growth but I’m sure and convinced we did our best. “Sarri is a real person, all sorts of things have come out in recent weeks but on my part, there’s great respect for him,” he said.
In 2018, despite Chiellini’s initial decision to retire, he was called up for the March 2018 friendlies against Argentina and England by interim manager Luigi Di Biagio. Following an injury, he was dropped from the squad, and Angelo Ogbonna was called up in his place. His retirement plans was delayed once more when Roberto Mancinni heads the Azzuri, where he became a regular in the first team.
Last year, following his injury, Chiellini expressed the same desire to retire in two years and will then turn his focus to a directorial role as he is not interested in coaching. “[I will play] a couple of years — not more,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. Asked about coaching, Chiellini replied: “It is nice to pick a squad or train players for 30 minutes, but I do not like the life of a coach.
“Choosing a system is no longer enough, coaches have to be psychologists and motivational leaders too. Directors can be like an administrator of a company that has to manage at least 50 or 60 people. It is an all-encompassing life, accepting pressure and sacrifices of all kinds. It’s not a kind of responsibility that I feel inside me now,” Chiellini further added.