Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giorgio Chiellini

Club: Juventus FC
DOB: 14 August 1984 (Age 24)
Nationality: Italian
Position: Center Back, Left Back

After Italy's humiliating defeat to the Dutch at Euro 2008, the world must have thought that the famed Italian defender was done and dusted. Horrific performances by Andrea Barzagli and Marco Materazzi added fuel to the fire. But, come the match against Spain, Giorgio Chiellini rose to the occasion. Juventus fans already knew what he was capable of and against Spain in the quarter finals, Chiellini gave a heroic performance, keeping two world class strikers, David Villa & Fernando Torres, quiet for 120 minutes. The match saw the rise of a star. Never have I seen a more awesome and commanding centre back. Some people may not agree but I think Giorgio Chiellini is even better than Fabio Cannavaro.

Giorgio Chiellini started his career as a left back but Ranieri smartly shifted him to the center of the defence. The rest is history. Juventus took on Inter Milan for the first time since the Calciopoli scandal on 4 November 2007 and 22 March 2008. Chiellini stole the show by completely marking Inter star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, out of both the games. Since then such performances have become a regular sight for the Juventus tifosi.

Chiellini has all the attributes of a perfect centre back. He is tall, strong, quick, has great heading and jumping ability and defensively world class. His tackles are timed to perfection and he is never afraid to take a knock for the team. For that matter he is never afraid to knock out someone for the team. I remember him taking out both the opposition player and a teammate in a sliding tackle. He reads the game superbly and in most cases, intercepts passes or clears the ball before it reaches its intended target. He is a true leader and organizes his defence better than anyone. In many matches his goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, has not even had to make a save. He is definetely second in line to receive the Juventus captaincy from Alessandro Del Piero. He is an excellent header of the ball and is likely to score 5 or so goals every season, with his head alone. Since he started off as a left back, and a very successful one, he is very good moving forward and has a very powerful long shot. He has all the attributes of a libero (for the uninitiated, Google the word), a type of defender hard to find today. His body language exudes confidence and this is what sets him apart from the rest.

If he were to be ever sold by Juventus FC, his transfer fee should easily surpass the money paid for Rio Ferdinand & Lilian Thuram by Manchester United & Juventus FC, respectively. At 24, Chiellini is already one of the best defenders on the planet and one day perhaps will become one of the best ever.

Competition includes Rio Ferdinand, Carlos Puyol, John Terry, Fabio Cannavaro, Nicola Legrottaigle, Alessandro Nesta, Lucio etc.

Matches scouted in
All Juventus FC matches since their demotion to Serie B

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