GIORGIO CHIELLINI


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

Giorgio Chiellini started playing football at just 6 years of age for the youth squad of 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. He played in the clubs' youth academy between 1990 and 2000, before earning first team call-ups for the 2000–2001 Serie C1 season. In his first season with the first team, Chiellini made 3 appearances and followed that up with 5 more appearances the following season. In the summer of 2002, he was signed by Roma in co-ownership deal, for €3.1M, (who also saw Marco Amelia , moved to opposite direction, for €2.8M) however, he was loaned back to Livorno for the 2002–2003 Serie B season, after Livorno had earned promotion. In his first Serie B season, Chiellini made 6 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 4 goals from his left wing back position. In June 2004, A.S. Livorno Calcio officially bought back Chiellini for €3M. During his 4 season spell with the clubs' first team Chiellini made 57 total appearances, scoring 4 goals, before his high-profile transfer to European giants, and Scudetto holders Juventus F.C..

Chiellini was signed by Juventus FC in summer 2004, for €6.5 million, but was immediately sold in a co-ownership deal to ACF Fiorentina for €3.5 million, where he played during the 2004–2005 Serie A season. In his lone season with the Tuscan club, Chiellini was a regular in the clubs' starting XI, making 42 official appearances, also scoring 3 goals.

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 was used regularly by then coach Fabio Capello, as Chiellini would go on to make 23 appearances for Juventus in his first season with the club, also helping the club to their 29th Scudetto. Following Juventus' enforced relegation due to the Calciopoli scandals, Chiellini decided to remain in Turin despite the high-profile transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Patrick Vieira, Ferreira Emerson, Gianluca Zambrotta, and Fabio Cannavaro. In the Serie B, he became an instrumental part of Didier Deschamps following injuries to Nicola Legrottaglie, Boumsong and Robert Kovac , he having played left back his whole career until this season, he was converted by coach Didier Deschamps into a center-back in a few games.

Juventus won promotion with the best goal difference, conceding only 30 goals and scoring over 80. 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, Chiellini again was a starter for the club at left back, but following injuries to Jorge Andrade and Domenico Criscito, he was converted by coach Claudio Ranieri into a center-back. Chiellini had a tremendous season, named as the best centre-back in all of Serie A, and by many as one of the best in the world. Alongside his reborn central-defensive partner Nicola Legrottaglie, the duo led Juventus to the 2nd-least conceded goals for the season. 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. 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. On 27 April 2008, Chiellini scored twice for Juventus in 5–2 win over SS Lazio that confirms Bianconeri's place in Serie A top four. On 26 June 2008, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus again until 2013.

During the 2008–09 season, Chiellini remained as first choice in central defense, and was again as solid as ever to help Juventus to a runner-up finish in Serie A, alongside Legrottaglie. 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. 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 9 goals in the 4 games he missed. 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. On 23 November 2010, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus again until 30 June 2015.

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 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 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.

During 2010 World Cup qualifying, Chiellini cemented his place as 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. He took part at the 2010 World Cup.



PLAYER DETAILS
Name: Giorgio Chiellini
Date of birth: 14 August 1984
Place of birth: Pisa, Italy
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position: Centre back

Club information
Current club: Juventus

Youth career
1990–2000 Livorno

Senior career
2000–2004 Livorno 55 (4)
2004–2005 Fiorentina 37 (3)
2005– Juventus 166 (15)

National team
2001–2003 Italy U-19 18 (1)
2004–2007 Italy U-21 26 (6)
2004– Italy 40 (2)
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