The third international break is upon us, and as usual the Juventus players have distributed far and wide with their respective national teams. Bianconeri club captain Giorgio Chiellini, who is also the skipper of the Italy national team has been talking to the media on a variety of topics, and interestingly, is one of the few players who are outspokenly in favor of the ill-fated Super League that formed and collapsed in the duration of a weekend earlier this year.
Still, Juve are one of the few clubs that remain in favor of the existence of the league and are currently deadlocked in a legal tussle with UEFA over the matter, and Chiellini spoke to DAZN about the necessity of revising the current club football structure.
“I’ve been talking with the [Juventus] president for a few years about this. The future of football is going ever more towards a European approach compared to national leagues.
“A player at Juve’s level wants to play those games, with all due respect. Athletes of our level, but also the fans, want to see more European-level fixtures. We have reached the point of no return.”
The veteran, who holds an MBA with a thesis on Juventus’ business model as well as several advanced degrees in the art of defending, insists that the club game needs to reinvent itself to keep with the times, much like America’s major sports have done.
“Institutions, clubs and players must meet to reform the calendar and create new competitions to relaunch this sport, which remains the most beautiful in the world, but for me can also be improved.
“In the USA, who are masters of this sort of thing, they have created Super Leagues in every sport.”
A topic for hot debate in Italy has always been around how many clubs should play in the top flight, with the current number [twenty] settled upon to align with the other major European nations, though Chiellini wants to see that trimmed to free up some space in the calendar for Super League fixtures.
“There are a few too many teams in Serie A at the moment, we should be 18. We could even go back to 16 teams, but I think 18 is the right number in order to raise the competitiveness again and give more space to European-level fixtures.”
The need for change and the game to keep evolving is one that most fans, players and administrators will agree on, though it’s how much change that has some queasy.
“The world is moving forward and we mustn’t exclude change. I think it’s essential to find people who can discuss together how to improve football.
“At the moment there’s no dialogue and it’s heading towards an unsustainable situation for everyone: for us and the clubs. Even the fans can sense that.”