For a player who embodies grinta as much as Giorgio Chiellini, sitting on the sidelines while Juventus and Italy play must be desperately disheartening. Yet, the veteran is keeping his head up and spirits high, and is looking forward to making his return to the pitch.
Speaking to media outlet Tuttomercatoweb, the Juve club captain provided an update on when he expects to return from his anterior cruciate ligament injury.
“I think I’ll be back on the pitch between February and March.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go. I’ve spent a few days abroad, but tomorrow I’ll return to continue my rehabilitation and it’s going very well. But you do need a lot of patience.
“They are doing very well without me, but I hope that I will be back during the spring, to help out by giving all that I’ve got, like they are doing.”
Maurizio Sarri is the new manager at Juve, and Chiellini insists that there will be some time required for an adjustment to the new philosophies brought in.
“After many years with Allegri it would have been different with any coach, but the results are going our way.
“You need to have patience, to understand the ideas of the coach, but in the meantime we need to pick up points and my teammates are doing that.”
The 35-year-old insisted though that the Champions League was an achievable target.
“We always believe and we have come very close. Let’s hope we arrive in a good way this spring because that’s what’s needed.
“They’re going great without me, but I hope to come back in the spring to help them do their best.”
The Italian national team has been reinvigorated under Roberto Mancini, and recorded a huge 9-1 win yesterday over minnows Armenia.
“It’s a fairly surprising result, but I congratulated the coach even after the great win against Bosnia.
“He changed the team’s trajectory in a very short time and understood the tricks needed to kickstart the group.
“He deserves so much credit because he is the true architect of this rebirth.”