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Giorgio Chiellini


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From en.wikipedia.org

Giorgio Chiellini (born 14 August 1984 in Pisa) is an Italian footballer who plays for Serie A club Juventus. He is a centre back who started his career playing as a left-back.

Club career

Early years

Giorgio is the son of Fabio and Lucia Chiellini. He is one of four siblings; he has a twin brother Claudio, and another brother & a sister, Giulio and Silvia, respectively. He started playing football at 6 years of age for Livorno and at first was used as a central midfielder. As he matured, he switched to playing as a winger and finally he found his position as a left back. Currently, he is most commonly deployed as a central defender


He was signed by Juventus in summer 2004, for €6.5 million, but immediately sold on co-ownership deal to Fiorentina for €3.5 million, where he played for 2004–05 season.

After an excellent first season in Serie A, Chiellini was recalled by Juventus for the 2005–06 season, where Juventus paid €4.3 million for full-ownership. He won the 29th League with Juventus that year. He has been a regular fixture in the Bianconeri backline in their return to Serie A and was named "Man of the Match" in a game against Internazionale when he won a physical and heated duel with ex-Juve teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović, allowing the in-form hitman no goals. Chiellini extended his original contract from until 2009 to 2011 on October 12, 2006.

After the Calciopoli scandal, Chiellini was a starter for Juventus in Serie B. After their triumphant return to Serie A, Giorgio Chiellini was converted by coach Claudio Ranieri into a center-back, having played left back in his career until this point. Chiellini had a tremendous season, named by many as the best centre-back in all of Serie A. Alongside his reborn center-defense partner Nicola Legrottaglie, the duo led Juventus to the 2nd-least conceded goals for the season, despite many penalties awarded against Juventus controversially. The surprising aspect of this is that neither were considered remotely close to pinning down a center-back position in the summer before the season, with Domenico Criscito and Jorge Andrade preferred as the starting duo.

On 27 April 2008, Chiellini scored twice for Juventus in 5-2 win over Lazio that confirms Bianconeri's place in Serie A top four.

On 26 June 2008, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus to the year 2013.

Chiellini scored his first European goal of his career on 13 August 2008 as Juve beat Artmedia Petržalka 4-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie. Four days later he injured his left knee again during the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi against Milan and missed the start of the Serie A season, returning to duty in September starting in each of Juve's first three UEFA Champions League group games.

International career

Chiellini made his debut for the Italian national team in November 2004 against Finland, and has since become a regular squad member. He won the European Under-19 Championship with Italy in 2003, and was also a member of the Italy team that won the bronze medals at the football tournament of the 2004 Summer Olympics. He was named in the 'UEFA Team of the tournament' of the 2007 U-21 Championships held in the Netherlands where they qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Chiellini was called up to Italy's squad for Euro 2008, and infamously injured fellow teammate and former FIFA World Player of the Year, Fabio Cannavaro in a training session, that resulted in Cannavaro missing out on the tournament. He was sidelined in the opening game against the Netherlands, which Italy went on to lose 3-0. He subsequently received the nod to partner Christian Panucci at center-back from the second game onwards, cementing his place in the Azzurri defence. While he featured in the group games against Romania and France, his most impressive display was arguably to come against Spain in the quarterfinals, where he famously neutralized the threat of the Spanish attacking duo of David Villa and Fernando Torres. The game ended 0-0, with Italy eventually losing out on penalty shootouts.

In October 2008, Chiellini returned to the Azzurri defence, alongside Cannavaro, for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria (0-0) and Montenegro (2-1).

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