Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini is set to retire from the national team after the “Finalissima” match against Argentina in London on June 1. The 37-year-old Chiellini had planned to continue playing for the national team through the World Cup at the end of this year, but he has moved up his plans after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the tournament in Qatar.
“If I’m in form, I’ll bid the national team goodbye at Wembley, where I reached the apex of my career in Azzurro and perhaps of my entire career,” Chiellini said, referring to Italy’s European Championship title last summer. The Finalissima match at Wembley Stadium features the champions of Europe and South America. Chiellini, who has formed a potent centre-back pairing with Leonardo Bonucci during his career, is sixth on Italy’s all-time list with 116 appearances.
The gritty defender Chiellini was bitten by Uruguay striker Luis Suarez during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Chiellini’s contract with Juventus expires after next season, but he wouldn’t commit to remain in Turin amid speculation that he wants to end his club career in the United States.
Chiellini further informed that he needs to evaluate everything and discuss what is best with his friends and family. “Let’s reach fourth place first and win the Italian Cup. Then we will sit down with my two families – at home and with Juventus — to figure out what is best for everyone,” Chiellini said after Juventus’ win over Sassuolo in Serie A late Monday.
The highly anticipated ‘Finalissima’ clash will be a treat for the fans. They will watch the current champions of the world’s two best footballing continents contest the coveted CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions.