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Italy and Juve icon Chiellini retires

AFP – Giorgio Chiellini brought the curtain down on a trophy-packed career on Tuesday after the Italy icon announced his retirement from football.

Former Italy and Juventus defender Chiellini revealed he would be hanging up his boots at the age of 39 in a short post on social media accompanied by a video showing the highlights of his 23 years in the professional game.

“You have been the most beautiful and intense journey of my life. You have been my everything,” Chiellini wrote. 

“With you I have travelled a unique and unforgettable path. But now it is time to start new chapters, face new challenges and write further important and exciting pages of life.”

Giorgio Chiellini. PHOTO: AFP

Chiellini ended his career at Los Angeles FC in the Major League Soccer (MLS) – his final match Saturday’s MLS Cup final defeat to Columbus Crew – but he is best known for his exploits with Juventus and his country.

After joining Juve in 2005, Chiellini eventually became a cornerstone of the so-called “BBC” defence alongside Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci.

That defensive trio were key to propelling Juve back to domestic dominance after years in the doldrums following the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal which exploded in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup.

Chiellini won nine consecutive Serie A titles between 2012 and 2020 and reached two Champions League finals with the Turin giants, who honoured him on social media with the message “Warrior, captain, champion. Thanks for everything big Giorgio!”