Happy Birthday to Azzurri Captain Giorgio Chiellini!The Tuscan central defender, who has amassed over one hundred caps for Italy, celebrates his 35th birthday today
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
On 14 August 1984 in Pisa, Giorgio Chiellini was born. A pillar of the Italian defence for the last decade, Chiellini started in the Livorno youth set up before making his Serie A debut with Fiorentina at the age of twenty.
An impressive Serie A debut season in the purple of Fiorentina convinced Juventus to purchase him outright. Starting out as left back for Juventus, he has developed into one of the best defenders in Europe while at the club. Chiellini decided to remain at Juventus for their season in Serie B, and he has since gone on to win eight league titles, four Coppa Italia and four Italian Supercups with the Turin side.
At an international level, Chiellini first wore the blue shirt of Italy at U15 level and has gone on to represent Italy at all levels. He won a U19 European Championship in 2003 and picked up a bronze medal with the Italian Olympic side at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. At the age of twenty, Marcello Lippi gave Chiellini his first senior call-up, but the Juventus defender failed to secure a place in the famous squad which went on to lift the World Cup in Germany in 2006. Instead, Chiellini was to play a key role in the 2008 European Championships, when Roberto Donadoni asked him to cover for the injured Fabio Cannavaro. However, the Azzurri were eliminated by Spain on penalties at the quarterfinal stage. From that point onwards, Chiellini became Italy’s defensive talisman, participating in the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Under Cesare Prandelli, he was named in the European Championship squad in 2012, but a muscular injury plagued him throughout the tournament and Italy lost to Spain in the final. Following the European Championships, Chiellini picked up a bronze medal at the Confederations Cup in 2013 and was part of Italy’s squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Giorgio was also one of the key members of Antonio Conte’s squad for the 2016 European Championship in France.
To date, Chiellini has made 103 appearances for Italy and scored eight goals.