Italian international Giorgio Chiellini is looking closer to a move to MLS side LAFC this transfer window. With the Italian’s contract ending this month of June with Juventus, the 37-year-old is likely close to retirement and looking to end his career run in the United States.
Chiellini joined the youth teams at Livorno at age six and started out as a central midfielder. As he matured, he switched to playing as a winger and finally he found his position as a left back. He played in the club’s youth academy between 1990 and 2000. In 2000, he took part in Torneo di Arco as a squad player for AC Milan’s U-17 team as a part of his trial; despite being rated satisfactory by the youth coach Davide Ballardini, he did not receive an offer to join the team permanently. In the 2000–01 Serie C1 season, Chiellini started to receive his first call-ups to the senior team and eventually made three appearances and followed that up with five more appearances the following season.
In June 2002, Chiellini was signed by Roma in a co-ownership deal, for €3.1 million, (who also saw Marco Amelia, move in the opposite direction, for €2.8 million) however, he was loaned back to Livorno for the 2002–03 Serie B season, after they had earned promotion. In his first Serie B season, Chiellini made six seasonal appearances, also making his Coppa Italia debut. In his second Serie B season, Chiellini broke into the starting line-up for the club, and would go on to make 42 official appearances, also scoring four goals from his left back position.
In June 2004, Livorno officially bought back Chiellini for €3 million. During his four-season spell with the clubs’ first team, Chiellini made a total of 57 appearances, scoring four goals, before his transfer to Juventus.
Chiellini was signed by Juventus in the summer 2004 for €6.5 million from Livorno, but was immediately sold in a co-ownership deal to Fiorentina for €3.5 million, and played on the Florentine team during the 2004–05 Serie A season. The complex deal actually meant Juventus bought Roma’s half for €3 million and Fiorentina bought Livorno’s half for €3.5 million. In his loan season with the club, Chiellini was a regular in the club’s starting XI, making 42 official appearances, also scoring three goals.
After an excellent first season in Serie A, Chiellini was recalled for the 2005–06 season and Juventus paid €4.3 million for the rest of his contract. He became a regular under Fabio Capello and made 23 appearances in his first season with the club, also helping the Old Lady to their 29th scudetto (which was later assigned to Inter following the 2006 “Calciopoli” scandal).
Having made his international debut for Italy in 2004, Chiellini was selected in the nation’s squads for the 2004 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal, as well as for four UEFA European Championships, two FIFA World Cups and two FIFA Confederations Cups, helping the Azzurri to win UEFA Euro 2020, reach the final of UEFA Euro 2012, and achieve a third-place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. He retired from international football in 2022 with 117 caps, making him Italy’s joint fourth-highest appearance holder.