Try this little nugget of information on for size as we prepare for Italy’s latest UEFA Nations League fixture against Portugal.
- Giorgio Chiellini made his Italy debut on Nov. 17, 2004.
- Giorgio Chiellini is set to make his 100th appearance for Italy on Nov. 17, 2018.
Yes, when Chiellini takes the field against Portugal tonight at the San Siro, he will become only the seventh Italian to hit triple digits in appearances for the Azzurri. Chiellini has gone from 20-year-old debutant under Marcelo Lippi, young center back at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup to now the man who wears the captain’s armband.
Of course, there’s a game to be played tonight as well. That’s obviously the only way Chiellini officially gets his 100th international cap. Italy’s game against Portugal in the UEFA Nations League has something riding on it ... if you feel like this competition is actually something worth playing for in this newly-created competition and that there’s something riding on a potential win, loss or draw against a Cristiano Ronaldo-less opposition.
Either way, Cheillini deserves to get a win on his 100th cap.
And while Italy is obviously in a youth movement and transition from one era to another under the watch of Roberto Mancini, being reminded of Chiellini’s 14 years of greatness on the international stage is unavoidable.
And for that, get the man a win.
He will sport that goofy, always-amusing smile of his. He might even get a bandage on his head knowing full well that it’s such a big game in his career. (That would be amazing if it does end up happening.) And Giorgio Chiellini will just go out and be Giorgio Chiellini, the same guy who has been at the heart of Juventus’ and Italy’s defense for over a decade now.
Let’s just hope that Italy plays a lot like it did in Chiellini’s 99th international appearance.
When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time
Italy starting XI: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Biraghi; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Italy bench: Sirigu, Cragno, De Sciglio, Gagliardini, Pellegrini, Lasagna, Berardi, Acerbi, Rugani, Politano, Emerson Palmieri, Grifo
Portugal starting XI: Rui Patricio; Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Fonte, Mario Rui; Pizzi, William Carvalho, Ruben Neves; Bruma, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva
Portugal bench: Beto, Luis Neto, Raphael Guerreiro, Renato Sanches, Eder, Joao Mario, Danilo, Rafa Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Guedes, Cedric
HOW TO WATCH
Television: Sky Sports Football (United Kingdom); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, Univision Deportes En Vivo, Univision NOW (United States); Sky GO Extra (United Kingdom); RAI Play (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.