Following an injury-riddled 2019-20 campaign, Juventus club captain Giorgio Chiellini is fit again and looking to play. Speaking with the media from the Bianconeri’s training camp ahead of the start of the new season, the veteran defender refused to be drawn into criticisms of former coach Maurizio Sarri who was replaced after just one season in charge.
“Everyone hoped to have a different type of championship and growth but I’m sure and convinced we did our best.
“Sarri is a real person, all sorts of things have come out in recent weeks but on my part there’s great respect for him.
“And I will not add anything else, also because at this moment he can’t speak. I can only say that I have a lot of respect for him.”
New coach Andrea Pirlo still has a number of teammates playing for Juve, how are things different now that he is managing the side?
“For us he’s the coach. If until a few weeks ago, Andrea was Andrea, that’s different. Now, he’s the coach. It’s right to have hierarchies.
“Because of the different paths and age, it’s not right to compare him to Sarri. If I were to become Juventus coach tomorrow, I wouldn’t know all the basics.
“But I’ll know all the people I have around me and so does Pirlo. The situations can’t be compared.”
The 36-year-old signed a new one-year contract extension this summer and was asked if he was contemplating retirement next summer following the conclusion of the Euro 2020 tournament which has been pushed out a year.
“I don’t know, it could be nice like that. I won’t rule it out.
“I find it hard to look ahead. I’ll tell you the truth, if I arrive at the European Championship, it means I’m back at my level. I’d be happy to have a year crowned by being a protagonist there.
“I don’t want to think about what will come after that. In the last year, I haven’t played and had continuity.”
Chiellini has been called up by the Azzurri for the pair of friendlies next week, and would like to add to his 103 caps for the national side.
“I hope to play as much as possible and I want to enjoy what I will do in the last months.
“At this age, I can’t make long term plans.”