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HomefootballItaly and Juventus great Chiellini retires from football

Italy and Juventus great Chiellini retires from football

Former Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has decided to retire from professional football, the 39-year-old announced on social media platform X on Tuesday.

Chiellini, who played for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Los Angeles FC this season, retires after losing the MLS Cup final 2-1 to Columbus Crew on Saturday.

The centre back, who represented his country on 117 occasions, captained Italy to the Euro 2020 title after they beat England on penalties in the final at Wembley.

He spent most of his club career at Juve, helping them win nine consecutive Serie A titles, five Coppa Italia trophies and five domestic Supercups. He was a Champions League runner-up twice.

“You (football) have been the most beautiful and intense journey of my life,” Chiellini, who played 425 league games for Juventus, scoring 27 goals, wrote on X.

“You have been my everything. With you I have travelled a unique and unforgettable path. But now it is time to start new chapters, face new challenges and write further important and exciting pages of life.”

Chiellini joined Juve in 2004 following four seasons at Livorno, where he began his professional career.

“For Juventus fans, for 17 seasons, the number 3 stood for one thing, and one thing only: Giorgio Chiellini,” Juventus wrote in a statement. “Player, man and captain – three perspectives of Giorgio himself, who today concluded his career as a footballer.

“Everything, always, together. You were always by our side, like a superhero ready to intervene if necessary. In your case, however, there was no shield, red cloak or bat-mobile.”

Chiellini played 561 games for the Turin-based club, becoming their third player with most appearances after forward Alessandro Del Piero (705) and recently retired goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (685).

He ended his international career after the 2022 Finalissima against Copa America champions Argentina in June 2022, before signing with Los Angeles.

(Published 12 December 2023, 17:15 IST)

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