With Euro 2012 rapidly approaching, we here at JuventiKnows are profiling the different Juventus players participating in the summer tournament. This year, seven of our Scudetto winners are going to Poland and Ukraine as part of Cesare Prandelli’s Italian national side as the coach – himself a former midfielder for the Bianconeri – called up – Gianluigi Buffon, Claudio Marchisio, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Emanuele Giaccherini, Andrea Pirlo and today’s featured star, Giorgio Chiellini.
Birthplace and Birthday:
Pisa, 14 August, 1984
Keyser Giorgio, Chiello, Il Naso
Estimated Market Value:
€24 million (via Transfermarkt.it)
Title, Year, (Club)
Serie B 2006-07, (Juventus)
Serie A 2011-12, (Juventus)
Team Supported Growing Up:
Level of Fame:
Unassuming superstar. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe, not reflective of his quiet personality.
While Giorgio is an absolute beast on the pitch, he is notoriously mild-mannered off of it. Oftentimes this personality is the impetus for many of the few criticisms about him, particularly when it comes to his role as a leader on the pitch.
Tall, strong and imposing, Giorgio’s strengths are undoubtedly his positioning, timing, set-piece target, ability to make runs into the opposing box from defense. What he is best known for, however, is his hard tackling. In fact, last time he traveled with Italy to the Euros, he famously injured Fabio Cannavaro during training, breaking the hearts of most azzurri tifosi while pleasing at least 50% of the Juventus faithful who still held a grudge (present company included, depending on whom you’re asking).
For many fans, the moment he famously “arrived” for real was the first of many battles he had with former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the season after Juventus reemerged from Serie B. These battles would go onto become match-ups that all Serie A fans would look forward to each year.
As mentioned he has been criticized for lack of leadership qualities. While not the paciest of defenders, he makes up for it with good positioning.
Status on Club Team:
The absolute first-choice center-back; more than capable at left-back when needed.
YouTube Comp with Questionable Music:
2011-2012 Club Season:
Last season was regarded as an “off year” for Chiellini, as he his center back partners were forced to play with what can be generously described as makeshift fullbacks. This season, thanks to the additions of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Martin Caceres, and a finally healthy Paolo De Ceglie, Giorgio has firmly placed himself back into the conversation of best center-back on the peninsula, Europe, and Earth. He was quickly back to his old hard-tackling man-marking ways, completely flattening whomever the opponent’s number 9 (and sometimes numbers 10 and 11 simultaneously) was unfortunate enough to be on any given week, showing just how absolutely devastating he can be when not having to cover for Fabio Grosso’s missteps.
Status in National Team:
First-choice center-back; the only question is, who partners next to him? Has also filled in at left-back, however far more sparingly.
Expected Performance for National Team:
For the Azzurri to do ANYTHING at the Euros this summer, Giorgio will need to show up and be the absolute rock that he is capable of being. Unfortunately, he is coming off a thigh injury suffered on May 13 during the final game of the season, after Juventus clinched the Scudetto but were still fighting to keep their unblemished Serie A campaign in tact. The recovery time was estimated at three weeks for his type of injury, leaving no margin for error. With his fitness a very real question at the moment if he fails, so will Italy.
Giorgio has been capped for Italy 50 times and has two goals while wearing the blue shirt, both scored with his nose! Okay, I’m kidding about the last part,although it may not be inaccurate considering his penchant for pushing forward on set-pieces and using his 6’1″ frame as a target for headers.
YouTube Comp Without Questionable Music:
(Alright, there’s music, but there are barely any YouTube videos without questionable music)
In one word:
Solid. It don’t get no better than solid