In a very Giorgio Chiellini-like move, Juventus’ captain has decided to not make himself the story heading into the Bianconeri’s final chance to win a trophy this season.
There has been much talk about what Chiellini’s future holds, but the 37-year-old Italian defender said during Tuesday night’s press conference ahead of the Coppa Italia final that he is going to hold off on making his announcement on what is next until after Juventus faces Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Chiellini, whose current contract expires in 2023, has been heavily linked with a summer departure on a free transfer, with the United States and Major League Soccer as his next desitination.
“I wanted to wait for this final,” said Chiellini. “I want to focus on football as long as there are some targets. I could have retired the day after winning the Euros. I may not have been here hadn’t VAR disallowed Austria’s goal (in the Round of 16). Let’s live this game and then we’ll see.”
Juventus manager Max Allegri has already said that Chiellini will get the start Wednesday night. And if it is one of Chiellini’s final matches with Juventus like everybody thinks it will be and has been widely reported, then this will be his last chance to win a trophy as the captain of the club he has been at for so much of his professional career.
One has to think that Chiellini will likely make his announcement between the Coppa italia final ending and Juventus’ final home game of the 2021-22 season against Lazio this coming Monday. That would allow both the club and the fans the proper knowledge to give him the sendoff — and Lap of Honor — he so deserves with the stadium back to full capacity.
But to see Chiellini put off his announcement on what’s next for him — even though we all kinda-sorta know what’s next for him — until after Juve faces Inter on Wednesday night is the ultimate selfless move. He had the chance to say what’s next and openly talk about this being his last Coppa Italia final. But he didn’t. Because Chiellini, as much as we love him and as great as the Lap of Honor will be, knows he’s not the story heading into Juve’s last big game of the season. It’s about Juventus — and that’s how he wanted to keep it.