08 October 2021
Happy birthday to Giorgio Chiellini, the Azzurri captain!The National Team defender, who led the Azzurri to EURO 2020 victory at Wembley on July 11 wearing the captain's armband, turns 37 today
Saturday, August 14, 2021
On 14 August 1984, Giorgio Chiellini was born in Pisa. A man who has been one of the key figures in the Azzurri’s defence over the last decade. After starting out his career with Livorno, he made his Serie A debut at 20, while on loan at Fiorentina. A stellar season with the Viola not only paved the way for a career with the National Team, but was also enough to persuade Juventus to snap him up. After starting out as a left-back, he developed into one of the finest centre-backs in Europe. After his first season, Chiellini decided to stick with it at Juventus as they looked to build their way back up from Serie B, and has gone on to win nine Scudetti with the Bianconeri, and the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana four times each.
Chiellini first represented Italy with the Under-15s, and played for pretty much all our youth sides, winning the European Under-19 Championship and a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics along the way. At just 20 years old, he made his debut for the National Team, at that time coached by Marcello Lippi, but he was unable to secure a place in the squad that won the 2006 World Cup. However, he was one of the key players in the 2008 European Championships, where Roberto Donadoni asked him to step up to the plate in the absence of Fabio Cannavaro and provide stability in the Azzurri backline. Italy were only eliminated on penalties by the eventual champions of the tournament, Spain. Since then, Chiellini has been a regular at centre-back for the Azzurri, taking part in the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, once again under Marcello Lippi. Chiellini finished with a runner-up’s medal at Euro 2012 under Cesare Prandelli, but during the tournament his performances were hampered by a persistent muscle problem, which was particularly palpable in the final against Spain. After the Euros, he won a bronze medal at the 2013 Confederations Cup and took part in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Giorgio was also a mainstay in Antonio Conte’s Italy side at the 2016 European Championship in France. In 2020, wearing the captain's armband, he led the Azzurri squad to EURO 2020 victory, making Italy Europe’s best after a 53-year-long wait. So far, he’s made 112 appearances for the Italy National Team, and has scored eight goals for his country.