Impossible to miss it. Bumpy and flattened, Giorgio Chiellini’s nose has come back from all the shocks and all the fractures. Four according to the most recent count. A masked time, it testifies above all to its owner’s taste for combat and close friction with attackers. Always with the number 3 in the back, the Italian lives by and for the duel when the guns of the time rather praise the avoidance for a defender.
At almost 37 years old, the captain of Italy is preparing to perhaps fight his last selection battle. And what a battle! A Euro final against England in his London garden at Wembley, this Sunday, July 11. In advance, the native of Pisa reveled in the whistles and the hostility of the supporters of the Three Lions after a muscular intervention on Harry Kane, at random.
“I have always considered myself to be the ugly duckling, not at all pretty to see”, he said to Daily Mail in 2015 not without the pride of the revenge. Giorgio Chiellini claims his status as “Normal player” less spoiled by nature than fuoriclasse (“gifted”, in Italian) like the Spaniard Sergio Ramos or the Dutchman Virgil van Dijk at his post. He is aware of his limits and it may also be his strength.
When, during the tournament, a journalist tells him that he is coming to the end of his contract with Juventus Turin like Lionel Messi with FC Barcelona, he handles irony as well as the slipped tackle. “Messi and I are also two lefties, but unfortunately a little different in technique. “
Funny, intelligent and cultured
In this answer given at the turn of a press conference, we can guess the other side of the character. Behind the rough, manly hitchhiker pierces a funny, intelligent and cultured man. This duality has long been observed in still amateur rugby where quarrelsome pillars and devious hookers could be honorable doctors or established lawyers in the civilian world. Giorgio Chiellini, he lives off his tackles and his authoritarian interventions. Because he plays sacrificial football, he pleads the need to have enemies in order to better sublimate himself.
But what might seem stupidly loaded with testosterone and low on the forehead in others, takes on a more noble connotation in the mouth of the defender with 111 selections interviewed by the magazine So Foot. “The words ‘enemy’ and ‘hatred’ have a bad connotation, because they apply to feelings that are far too strong, which do not belong to my values or to those of sport, he assures. But on a field, if you hear them like me I hear them, it is not antagonistic with the notion of respect, it helps you, and that is all. In my opinion, sporting rivalry is one thing that makes you better, that helps you to exceed your limits and stirs something deep in you. “
You have 54.29% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.