Italy captain to retire after Argentina friendly

Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini is set to retire from international football after his side’s friendly against Argentina at Wembley in June. The veteran defender is joint fifth in the all-time Italy players with most caps, alongside Andrea Pirlo, with 116 appearances for the Azzurri since his debut in 2004. Follow our Euro football updates ad Euro league final highlights here! 

“I’ll say goodbye to the national team at Wembley, which is where I experienced the pinnacle of my career winning the Euros,” Chiellini said after his Serie A side Juventus’ 2-1 win at Sassuolo. “I’d like to say goodbye to the Azzurri with a nice memory. That will certainly be my last game with Italy.” The Finalissima friendly match features the champions of Europe and South America.

When asked about his future in Juventus, Chiellini revealed that he has not decided yet. “My love affair with Juventus is not ending, it will never end,” he added. “Of course, from now to the end of the season I do have to evaluate everything and talk to my family about what is best. Let’s reach fourth place [in Serie A] first and win the Coppa Italia, then we’ll sit down with my two families – at home and Juventus.”

He added: “It was the same last summer. I took time and didn’t sign the new contract until after the Euros. At my age, you can’t look too far into the long-term, but that’s only natural, it’s all fine.” Juventus are fourth in Serie A, eight points behind leaders AC Milan. They are set to face Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final on May 11.

Earlier, Italy missed the World Cup qualification after being stunned by North Macedonia in their play-off in Palermo. It’s a huge blow for Mancini’s side as they have failed to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup. They also failed to reach a World Cup knockout match since winning the tournament in 2006. Italy won the virus-hit European Championship for the first time since 1968 last year.

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