Who is Giorgio Chiellini?
Giorgio Chiellini is an Italian professional soccer player born on the 14 August 1984, who plays as a defender and captains both Serie A club Juventus and the Italy national team. Chiellini is considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. A physically strong, aggressive, and versatile defender, although he is usually deployed as a centre-back, he is also capable of playing as a left-back, both in a three or four-man defence.
At club level, Chiellini began his career with Livorno in 2000, also later playing for Roma and Fiorentina, before moving to Juventus in 2005. With Juventus, he has won eight consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2019, as well as four consecutive Coppa Italia titles, and four Supercoppa Italiana titles. Chiellini has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year four times: in 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, and 2017–18 and has been awarded the Serie A Defender of the Year also three times: in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
He made his international debut for Italy in 2004, and currently has a total of 102 caps making him Italy’s seventh-highest appearance holder. He was selected in the nation’s squads for the 2004 Olympics, winning a bronze medal, as well as for three UEFA European Championships, two FIFA World Cups and two FIFA Confederations Cups, helping the Azzurri to reach the final of UEFA Euro 2012 and achieve a third-place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Chiellini Club career
Chiellini joined the youth teams at Livorno at age six and started out as a central midfielder. As he matured, he switched to playing as a winger and finally he found his position as a left back. He played in the club’s youth academy between 1990 and 2000, before earning first team call-ups for the 2000–01 Serie C1 season. In his first season with the first team, Chiellini made three appearances and followed that up with five more appearances the following season.
In June 2002, he was signed by Roma in a co-ownership deal, for €3.1 million, (who also saw Marco Amelia, move in the opposite direction, for €2.8 million) however, he was loaned back to Livorno for the 2002–03 Serie B season, after they had earned promotion. In his first Serie B season, Chiellini made six seasonal appearances, also making his Coppa Italia debut. In his second Serie B season, Chiellini broke into the starting line-up for the club, and would go on to make 42 official appearances, also scoring four goals from his left back position.
In June 2004, Livorno officially bought back Chiellini for €3 million. During his four-season spell with the clubs’ first team, Chiellini made a total of 57 appearances, scoring four goals, before his transfer to Juventus.
Chiellini was signed by Juventus in the summer 2004 for €6.5 million from Livorno, but was immediately sold in a co-ownership deal to Fiorentina for €3.5 million, and played on the Florentine team during the 2004–05 Serie A season. The complex deal actually meant Juventus bought Roma’s half for €3 million and Fiorentina bought Livorno’s half for €3.5 million. In his loan season with the club, Chiellini was a regular in the club’s starting XI, making 42 official appearances, also scoring three goals.
After an excellent first season in Serie A, Chiellini was recalled for the 2005–06 season and Juventus paid €4.3 million for the rest of his contract. He became a regular under Fabio Capello and made 23 appearances in his first season with the club, also helping the Old Lady to their 29th scudetto (which was later assigned to Inter following the 2006 “Calciopoli” scandal).
While in the Serie B, he started playing at centre back, partnering Nicola Legrottaglie, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Robert Kovač at various stages of the season. Juventus won the 2006–07 Serie B title, gaining Serie A promotion with the best goal difference, conceding only 30 goals and scoring over 80 in 42 matches. He scored a double in a 5–1 thrashing at Arezzo in May, a result that mathematically sealed promotion for Juventus.
Chiellini International career
Youth career, early senior career and Euro 2008
Chiellini made his debut for the Italian national team on 17 November 2004 against Finland under Marcello Lippi, at the age of 20, and has since become a regular squad member. He previously represented Italy at all youth levels, and he won the European Under-19 Championship with Italy in 2003, and was also a member of the Italy team that won the bronze medal at the football tournament of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
He participated in the 2006 and 2007 U-21 Championships as Italy’s captain, scoring 2 goals over both tournaments, although Italy were eliminated in the group stage on both occasions. He was named in the ‘UEFA Team of the tournament’ of the 2007 U-21 Championships held in the Netherlands, where Italy also obtained qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Chiellini Personal life
Chiellini was raised in Livorno and is one of twin boys. He completed a laurea (bachelor’s degree) in economics and commerce at the University of Turin in July 2010, and earned a laurea magistrale (master’s degree) in business administration in April 2017 from the same institution, graduating cum laude (with honours).
Unlike some other Italian top players that have never played abroad, Chiellini is a bilingual English speaker.
In July 2014, Chiellini married his long-time girlfriend Carolina Bonistalli at a private Catholic ceremony at the Sanctuary of Montenero in Livorno. The couple have two daughters: Nina born July 2015, and Olivia born June 2019.
Chiellini features in EA Sports’ FIFA video game series; he was on the covers of the Italian editions of FIFA 10, alongside global cover star Ronaldinho, and FIFA 11, alongside global cover star Kaká.
Throughout the 2017–18 season, Chiellini appeared in the Netflix docu-series called First Team: Juventus.
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