Giorgio Chiellini

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Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus).jpg
Chiellini playing for Juventus in 2012
Personal information
Full name Giorgio Chiellini[1]
Date of birth (1984-08-14) 14 August 1984 (age 31)
Place of birth Pisa, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Number 3
Youth career
1990–2000 Livorno
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2002 Livorno 8 (0)
2002–2004 Roma 0 (0)
2002–2004 Livorno (loan) 47 (4)
2004–2005 Fiorentina 37 (3)
2005– Juventus 299 (22)
National team
2004–2007 Italy U21 26 (6)
2004– Italy 82 (6)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 November 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2015

Giorgio Fabricio Chiellini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒordʒo kjelˈliːni]; born 14 August 1984) is an Italian footballer who currently plays for Serie A club Juventus and the Italian national team. He began his career as a left-back, but made his name as an aggressive, physical, hard-tackling centre back in a 3 or 4 man defence, with a penchant for scoring headers from set-pieces, due to his aerial prowess and strength.[3][4][5] Walter Mazzarri once labeled him as "a force of nature, he's a universal player that any coach would love to have on his team.[6] He is from another planet; he can mark three players by himself."[7][8] A popular figure with fans, he is also known for his leadership, and is the club's vice-captain, behind Gianluigi Buffon.[9]

He made his international debut for Italy in 2004, and has since earned over 80 caps. He was selected in the nation's squads for the 2004 Olympics, two UEFA European Championships, two FIFA Confederations Cups and two FIFA World Cups, helping the Azzurri to make it to the final of UEFA Euro 2012. With Juventus, he has also won four consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2015, as well as a Coppa Italia and three Supercoppa Italiana titles.

Chiellini is considered to be one of the top defenders in Europe:[10] in 2012, The Guardian named him the 50th Best Player in the World,[11] and in 2013 he was ranked as the seventh-best footballer playing in Europe by Bloomberg.[12]

Club career[edit]


Chiellini joined the youth teams at Livorno at age six and started out as a central midfielder. As he matured, he switched to playing as a winger and finally he found his position as a left back. He played in the clubs' youth academy between 1990 and 2000, before earning first team call-ups for the 2000–01 Serie C1 season. In his first season with the first team, Chiellini made three appearances and followed that up with five more appearances the following season. In June 2002, he was signed by Roma in co-ownership deal, for €3.1 million, (who also saw Marco Amelia, moved to opposite direction, for €2.8 million)[13] however, he was loaned back to Livorno for the 2002–03 Serie B season, after Livorno had earned promotion. In his first Serie B season, Chiellini made six seasonal appearances, also making his Coppa Italia debut. In his second Serie B season, Chiellini broke into the starting line-up for the club, and would go on to make 42 official appearances, also scoring four goals from his left back position. In June 2004, Livorno officially bought back Chiellini for €3 million.[14] During his four-season spell with the clubs' first team, Chiellini made 57 total appearances, scoring four goals, before his high-profile transfer to European giants and scudetto holders Juventus.


Chiellini was signed by Juventus in the summer 2004 for €6.5 million from Livorno,[15] but was immediately sold in a co-ownership deal to Fiorentina for €3.5 million, where he played during the 2004–05 Serie A season. The complex deal actually meant Juventus bought Roma's half for €3 million and Fiorentina bought Livorno's half for €3.5 million. In his loan season with the Tuscan club, Chiellini was a regular in the club's starting XI, making 42 official appearances, also scoring three goals.


Chiellini and Didier Drogba of Galatasaray playing against each other in the Champions League.

After an excellent first season in Serie A, Chiellini was recalled for the 2005–06 season and Juventus paid €4.3 million for the rest of his contract. He became a regular under Fabio Capello and made 23 appearances in his first season with the club, also helping the club to their 29th scudetto (which was later assigned to Inter Milan following the 2006 "Calciopoli" Scandal).

While in the Serie B, he started playing at centre back, partnering Nicola Legrottaglie, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Robert Kovač at various stages of the season. Juventus won the 2006–07 Serie B title, gaining Serie A promotion with the best goal difference, conceding only 30 goals and scoring over 80 in 42 matches. He scored a rare double in a 5–1 thrashing away at Arezzo in May, a result that sealed promotion for the bianconeri mathematically.

With Juventus back in Serie A for the 2007–08 season, Chiellini again was a starter for the club at left back, but following injuries to Jorge Andrade and Domenico Criscito, he was shifted to centre back again. Chiellini had a tremendous season and eventually made the position his own. Alongside fellow centre-half Nicola Legrottaglie, the duo were instrumental as Juventus finished the season with the joint second-best defensive record. The surprising aspect of this is that neither were considered remotely close to pinning down a centre back position in the summer before the season, with Domenico Criscito and Jorge Andrade preferred as the starting duo. He has been a regular fixture in the Bianconeri backline since their return to Serie A and was notably named Man of the Match in a game against Juventus' bitter rivals Internazionale when he won a physical and heated duel with former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović, keeping the Swedish striker at bay. Chiellini extended his original contract from until 2009 to 2011 on 12 October 2006.[16] On 27 April 2008, Chiellini scored twice for Juventus in 5–2 win over Lazio that confirmed the bianconeri's place in the Serie A top four.[17] on 26 June 2008, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus until 2013.[18]

During the 2008–09 season, Chiellini remained as first choice in central defence alongside Nicola Legrottaglie. Chiellini scored his first goal in Europe on 13 August 2008 as Juve beat Artmedia Petržalka 4–0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.[19] 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,[20] returning to duty in September starting in each of Juve's first three Champions League group games. At the end of the year, he was named Serie A Defender of the Year for 2008 at the annual Oscar del Calcio awards ceremony. On 10 March 2009, Chiellini was sent off for a second bookable offense during the Champions League first knockout round second leg tie at home in a tightly contested match against Chelsea, but Juventus were eliminated 3–2 on aggregate after holding the former English champions to a 2–2 draw.

An injury sustained in the win over Fiorentina on 6 March 2010 sidelined him for several important games and, in his absence, Juventus embarked on a miserable run of form, conceding nine goals in the four games he missed.[21] He marked his return by scoring the opening goal away at Napoli but was unable to prevent Juventus from succumbing to a 3–1 defeat.[22] On 23 November 2010, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus again until 30 June 2015 and was deservedly given a pay raise.[23]

During the beginning of the 2010–11 season, Chiellini was mostly partnered with newly signed youngster Leonardo Bonucci. With the arrival of fellow Italy international Andrea Barzagli in the winter transfer window, Chiellini occasionally played at left back to accommodate the Bonucci-Barzagli partnership and sometimes partnered Barzagli.

Under manager Antonio Conte, Chiellini returned to his original position at left back due to Barzagli and Bonucci's good run of form. After struggling to re-adapt back to his former position, he grew into his role and managed to keep Paolo De Ceglie, the only other natural left back in the squad, on the bench for much of the first half of the 2011–12 season. In the second half of the 2011–12 season, Conte switched to a three-man defence, where Chiellini partnered Bonucci and Barzagli in a very successful defensive system for Juve, who ended the season as Serie A champions, with the best defensive record, as well as being unbeaten in the league.[24] Juventus lost the 2011–12 Coppa Italia final against Napoli, but would later defeat them in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, although Chiellini would miss the match.[25]

Chiellini made his 250th appearance with Juventus on 22 September 2012, on his first appearance of the 2012–13 season after coming back from injury, in a 2–0 home win over Chievo.[26] On 1 March 2013, after coming back from another injury suffered in mid-December, he scored a header in a 1–1 draw over Napoli at the San Paolo stadium, which allowed Juventus to keep their 6-point lead over Napoli, who were in second place.[27] Juventus retained the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana the that season, once again finishing the year with the best defensive record in Italy.[28][29] Chiellini was the only Italian player to be nominated for the 2013 UEFA Team of the Year.[30]

On 6 October 2013, Chiellini scored in Juventus's 3–2 win over Milan, scoring the match winning goal; the next day he announced the nenewal of his contract with Juventus, which would keep him at the club until 2017.[31] He made his 300th appearance with Juventus in a 3–0 Serie A victory against Roma on 5 January 2014,[32] as he went on to win his third consecutive league title with Juventus that season.[33]

In the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana on 22 December 2014, Juventus were defeated by Napoli on penalties after a 2–2 draw following extra-time; Chiellini missed one of Juventus's spot-kicks in the resulting shoot-out.[34] On 20 May, Chiellini captained Juventus in the club's 2–1 win over Lazio in the 2015 Coppa Italia Final, also scoring Juventus's first goal of the night.[35]

On 4 June 2015, it was confirmed that Chiellini would not participate in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final against Barcelona as a scan on his left leg revealed he had a first degree calf muscle tear.[36] Without Chiellini, La Vecchia Signora were defeated 3–1 by Barcelona at Berlin's Olympiastadion.[37]

Chiellini was ruled out of the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana after sustaining an injury in a 2–1 away friendly victory over Lechia Gdansk on 29 July, which would keep him on the sidelines for three weeks.[38] On 24 November, Chiellini was nominated for the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year.[39]

International career[edit]

Chiellini challenges Cesc Fàbregas of Spain during the UEFA Euro 2012 Final.

Chiellini made his debut for the Italian national team on 17 November 2004 against Finland under Marcello Lippi, at the age of 20, and has since become a regular squad member.[40] He previously represented Italy at all youth levels, and he won the European Under-19 Championship with Italy in 2003,[41] and was also a member of the Italy team that won the bronze medal at the football tournament of the 2004 Summer Olympics. He participated in the 2006 and 2007 U-21 Championships as Italy's captain, scoring 2 goals over both tournaments, although Italy were eliminated in the group stage on both occasions. He was named in the 'UEFA Team of the tournament' of the 2007 U-21 Championships held in the Netherlands,[42] where Italy also obtained qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In total, he made 26 appearances for the Under-21 side, scoring 6 goals. He scored his first goal for Italy on 21 November 2007, against the Faroe Islands, in Modena, in an UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match.[43]

Chiellini was called up to Italy's squad for UEFA Euro 2008 under manager Roberto Donadoni, and injured captain Fabio Cannavaro in a collision during 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 defense. 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.[44]

During 2010 World Cup qualifying, Chiellini cemented his place as an undisputed first-choice in Marcello Lippi's squad. He played the full 90 minutes in all three group matches at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup but Italy were eliminated at the group stages on goal difference.[45] He was also the starting Italy centreback, along with Cannavaro, in the 2010 World Cup, although Italy disappointed and exited in the first round, failing to win a match.[46]

Under Cesare Prandelli, Chiellini was once again the starting centreback during Italy's UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. Along with Juventus team mates Barzagli and Bonucci, and also De Rossi, he started in defence for Italy in the Euro 2012 tournament, after recovering from an injury he had encountered during the final Serie A game of the season.[47] He suffered another injury in Italy's final group match against Ireland, which ended in a 2–0 win, but returned to the starting line-up for Italy's 2–1 semi-final victory over Germany.[48] Italy reached the final, but were defeated once again by Spain, suffering a 4–0 loss. Despite suffering a minor injury in the semi-final, Chiellini started as left back in the final, but was substituted after sustaining yet another injury; Spain's first goal of the match arose from his mistake, due to his precarious physical condition.[49]

On 14 November 2012, in a 2–1 friendly defeat to France, Chiellini wore the captain's armband with Italy for the first time in his career.[50]

On 22 June 2013, Chiellini scored his third goal for Italy against Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup in a 2–4 defeat, a low shot to the net after the referee Ravshan Irmatov had initially signaled for a penalty kick to Italy.[51] Italy managed to finish the tournament in third place.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Italy's final group stage game against Uruguay, replays appeared to show Luis Suárez biting Chiellini on the shoulder before Suárez fell and clutched his face, in Suárez's third career biting incident. As the Italian players protested to the Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez for not penalizing Suárez, Uruguay won a corner and scored, winning 1–0 to qualify for the last 16 and eliminating Italy.[52][53][54] As a result, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee launched an investigation into the incident. On 26 June, The FIFA Disciplinary Committee announced that Suárez would be suspended for nine matches and banned from any football activity (including entering any stadium) for four months. Suárez was also fined CHF100,000 (approx. £65,700/82,000/US$119,000).[55][56] Even so, Chiellini expressed his view that the four-month ban for Suárez was "excessive".[57]

On 10 October 2014 in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Azerbaijan in Palermo, Chiellini put Italy ahead with a first-half header. He then scored a late own goal, but headed a winner three minutes from time to give Italy a 2–1 victory.[58]

Personal life[edit]

Chiellini completed a laurea in economics and commerce at the University of Turin in July 2010.[59]

In July 2014 Chiellini married his longtime girlfriend Carolina Bonistalli at a private Catholic ceremony at the Sanctuary of Montenero in Livorno.[60]

Chiellini features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was on the covers of the Italian editions of FIFA 10, alongside global cover star Ronaldinho,[61] and FIFA 11, alongside global cover star Kaká.[62]



As of 29 November 2015.[63]
Team Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Livorno (loan) 2000–01 3 0 1 0 4 0
2001–02 5 0 8 0 2 0 15 0
2002–03 6 0 1 0 7 0
2003–04 41 4 1 0 42 4
Total 55 4 11 0 2 0 68 4
Fiorentina 2004–05 37 3 5 0 42 3
Total 37 3 5 0 42 3
Juventus 2005–06 17 0 0 0 6[a] 0 0 0 23 0
2006–07 32 3 3 1 35 4
2007–08 30 3 2 0 32 3
2008–09 27 4 1 0 8[a] 1 36 5
2009–10 32 4 2 0 6[b] 1 40 5
2010–11 32 2 2 0 9[c] 2 43 4
2011–12 34 2 3 0 37 2
2012–13 24 1 0 0 8[a] 0 0[d] 0 32 1
2013–14 31 3 1 0 11[e] 0 1[d] 1 44 4
2014–15 28 0 4 1 12[a] 0 1[d] 0 45 1
2015–16 11 0 0 0 5[a] 0 0[d] 0 16 0
Total 299 22 18 2 65 4 2 1 384 29
Career total 391 29 34 2 65 4 4 1 494 36
  1. ^ a b c d e All appearances in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ Four appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, Two appearances in Europa League
  3. ^ All appearances in Europa League
  4. ^ a b c d Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  5. ^ Five appearances UEFA Champions League, Six appearances in Europa League


As of 17 November 2015[64]
Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
2004 1 0
2005 4 0
2006 1 0
2007 3 1
2008 7 0
2009 11 1
2010 10 0
2011 12 0
2012 8 0
2013 10 2
2014 7 2
2015 8 0
Total 82 6

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 21 November 2007 Stadio Alberto Braglia, Modena, Italy  Faroe Islands 3–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
2. 18 November 2009 Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena, Italy  Sweden 1–0 1–0 Friendly
3. 22 June 2013 Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  Brazil 2–3 2–4 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
4. 10 September 2013 Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy  Czech Republic 1–1 2–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 10 October 2014 Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy  Azerbaijan 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
6. 2–1








  • Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
    5th Class / Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2004[75]


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External links[edit]