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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini announces his retirement

The walking definition of grinta has decided to hang up his boots and put that economics degree to use.

Juventus v SS Lazio - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Giorgio Chiellini will go down as one of the best defenders to ever wear the Juventus jersey. And as of Tuesday, we can officially talk about his incredibly accomplished and trophy-filled career in the past tense no matter how much it will make us sad and emotional.

Just a couple of days after Chiellini’s LAFC lost in the MLS Cup, the 39-year-old Italian has decided to call it a career and retire. That’s not necessarily a surprise considering both his age and how long his contract in Los Angeles was for, nor does it lessen the fact that Chiellini’s impact on the club he played at before heading to the United States for the final chapter of his two-plus decades of playing the game of football as a professional.

Chiellini’s post on social media that announced his final ciao to calcio, like only tech nerd Chiellini can, went as follows:

You have been the most beautiful and intense journey of my life.

You have been my everything. With you I have travelled a unique and unforgettable path.

But now it is time to start new chapters, face new challenges and write further important and exciting pages of life.

This is how part of Juventus’ tribute to Chiellini’s career read:

You were always by our side, like a superhero ready to intervene if necessary. In your case, however, there was no shield, red cloak or bat-mobile: a blow to the head was enough - you took a lot of them - and off you went, all bandaged up. Once you wore that, there was no escape for our opponents: it was Kryptonite for any Superman who tried to challenge us, from the “Romeo Neri” of Rimini to the “Santiago Bernabeu” of Madrid.

Ah, the bandaged head wrap. You always knew what kind of game it was going to be when Chiellini’s head was busted open and then the bandage could be the only thing to keep him off the field for a couple of minutes.

No matter what word you use to describe Chiellini — captain, leader, badass, hardman, whatever — they will all apply. He was at the heart of Juventus’ most successful time as a club and the best one out of a three-man BBC backline that will go down as one of the most impressive groups to ever be assembled in Italy. He will be as associated with Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli as much as he will Juventus, mainly because you can’t have one without the other.

But Chiellini, through his old-school ways of defending as the game evolved to more modern tactics and a different way of approaching things, was a throwback to the core. No matter if he looked more like somebody who should work in the stock market on Wall Street rather than a professional footballer when he was off the field, Chiellini’s way of defending was the kind you didn’t want to match up against but also made you smile with every crunching tackle he made.

The numbers from his Juventus career are simply legendary:

  • 561 appearances
  • 36 goals
  • Nine straight Scudetti
  • Five Supercoppe
  • Five Coppa Italia
  • 17 seasons at Juventus, all of which done in the No. 3 jersey

Now he can kick up his feet and relax, with the foreheads full of bandages now a thing of the past.

There’s bound to be a spot for him in Juventus’ front office or board of directors whenever he wants it. That’s something that he has essentially had planned out for his next career even as he was tackling world-class strikers in the Champions League. Now, just a few months after turning 39 years old, he will set those wheels in motion and make that economics degree of his be put to good use.