Giorgio Chiellini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒordʒo kjelˈliːni]; born 14 August 1984) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a defender and is the captain of Juventus and the Italy national team. Chiellini is considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. A physically strong, aggressive, and versatile defender, although he is usually deployed as a centre-back, he is also capable of playing as a left-back, both in a three or four-man defence.
At club level, Chiellini began his career with Livorno in 2000, also later playing for Roma and Fiorentina, before moving to Juventus in 2005. With Juventus, he has won seven consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2018, as well as four consecutive Coppa Italia titles, and four Supercoppa Italiana titles. Chiellini has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year four times: in 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, and 2017–18 and has been awarded the Serie A Defender of the Year also three times: in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
He made his international debut for Italy in 2004, and currently has a total of 100 caps making him Italy's seventh-highest appearance holder. He was selected in the nation's squads for the 2004 Olympics, winning a bronze medal, as well as for three UEFA European Championships, two FIFA World Cups and two FIFA Confederations Cups, helping the Azzurri to reach the final of UEFA Euro 2012 and achieve a third-place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Chiellini with the Italy national team in 2015.
|Full name||Giorgio Chiellini|
|Date of birth||14 August 1984|
|Place of birth||Pisa, Italy|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2002–2004||→ Livorno (loan)||47||(4)|
|2004–2005||→ Fiorentina (loan)||37||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 March 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2018
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, before earning first team call-ups for the 2000–01 Serie C1 season. In his first season with the first team, Chiellini made three appearances and followed that up with five more appearances the following season.
In June 2002, he 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).
While in the Serie B, he started playing at centre back, partnering Nicola Legrottaglie, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Robert Kovač at various stages of the season. Juventus won the 2006–07 Serie B title, gaining Serie A promotion with the best goal difference, conceding only 30 goals and scoring over 80 in 42 matches. He scored a double in a 5–1 thrashing at Arezzo in May, a result that mathematically sealed promotion for Juventus.
With Juventus back in Serie A for the 2007–08 season, Chiellini again was a starter for the club at left back, but following injuries to Jorge Andrade and Domenico Criscito, he was shifted to centre back again. Chiellini had a tremendous season and eventually made the position his own. Alongside fellow centre-half Nicola Legrottaglie, the duo were instrumental as Juventus finished the season with the joint second-best defensive record. The surprising aspect of this is that neither were considered remotely close to pinning down a centre back position in the summer before the season, with Domenico Criscito and Jorge Andrade preferred as the starting duo. He has been a regular fixture in the Juventus backline since their return to Serie A and was notably named Man of the Match in a game against Juventus rivals, Internazionale when he won a physical and heated duel with former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović, keeping the Swedish striker at bay. Chiellini extended his original contract from until 2009 to 2011 on 12 October 2006. On 27 April 2008, Chiellini scored twice for Juventus in 5–2 win over Lazio that confirmed Juventus's place in the Serie A top four. on 26 June 2008, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus until 2013.
During the 2008–09 season, Chiellini remained as first choice in central defence alongside Nicola Legrottaglie. Chiellini scored his first goal in Europe on 13 August 2008 as Juve beat Artmedia Petržalka 4–0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie. Four days later, he injured his left knee again during the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi against Milan and missed the start of the Serie A season, returning to duty in September starting in each of Juve's first three Champions League group games. At the end of the year, he was named Serie A Defender of the Year for 2008 at the annual Oscar del Calcio awards ceremony. On 10 March 2009, Chiellini was sent off for a second bookable offense during the Champions League first knockout round second leg tie at home in a tightly contested match against Chelsea, but Juventus were eliminated 3–2 on aggregate after holding the former English champions to a 2–2 draw.
An injury sustained in the win over Fiorentina on 6 March 2010 sidelined him for several important games and, in his absence, Juventus embarked on a miserable run of form, conceding nine goals in the four games he missed. He marked his return by scoring the opening goal away at Napoli but was unable to prevent Juventus from succumbing to a 3–1 defeat. On 23 November 2010, Chiellini extended his contract with Juventus again until 30 June 2015 and was given a pay raise.
During the beginning of the 2010–11 season, Chiellini was mostly partnered with newly signed youngster Leonardo Bonucci. With the arrival of fellow Italy international Andrea Barzagli in the winter transfer window, Chiellini occasionally played at left back to accommodate the Bonucci-Barzagli partnership and sometimes partnered Barzagli.
Under manager Antonio Conte, Chiellini returned to his original position at left back due to Barzagli and Bonucci's good run of form. After struggling to re-adapt back to his former position, he grew into his role and managed to keep Paolo De Ceglie, the only other natural left back in the squad, on the bench for much of the first half of the 2011–12 season. In the second half of the 2011–12 season, Conte switched to a three-man defence, where Chiellini partnered Bonucci and Barzagli in a very successful defensive system for Juve, who ended the season as Serie A champions, with the best defensive record, as well as being unbeaten in the league. Due to their performances together, the three-man defence earned the nickname BBC, a reference to the players' initials, and soon the trio established themselves as one of the best defences in world football during the following seasons. Juventus lost the 2012 Coppa Italia Final against Napoli, but would later defeat them in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana, although Chiellini would miss the match.
Chiellini made his 250th appearance with Juventus on 22 September 2012, on his first appearance of the 2012–13 season after coming back from injury, in a 2–0 home win over Chievo. On 1 March 2013, after coming back from another injury suffered in mid-December, he scored a header in a 1–1 draw over Napoli at the San Paolo stadium, which allowed Juventus to keep their 6-point lead over Napoli, who were in second place. Juventus retained the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana that season, once again finishing the year with the best defensive record in Italy. Chiellini was the only Italian player to be nominated for the 2013 UEFA Team of the Year.
On 6 October 2013, Chiellini scored in Juventus's 3–2 win over Milan, scoring the match winning goal; the next day he announced the renewal of his contract with Juventus, which would keep him at the club until 2017. He made his 300th appearance with Juventus in a 3–0 Serie A victory against Roma on 5 January 2014, as he went on to win his third consecutive league title with Juventus that season.
In the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana on 22 December 2014, Juventus were defeated by Napoli on penalties after a 2–2 draw following extra-time; Chiellini missed one of Juventus's spot-kicks in the resulting shoot-out. On 20 May, Chiellini captained Juventus in the club's 2–1 win over Lazio in the 2015 Coppa Italia Final, also scoring Juventus's first goal of the night.
On 4 June 2015, it was confirmed that Chiellini would not participate in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final against Barcelona as a scan on his left leg revealed he had a first degree calf muscle tear. In the absence of Chiellini, Juventus were defeated 3–1 by Barcelona at Berlin's Olympiastadion.
Chiellini was ruled out of the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana after sustaining an injury in a 2–1 away friendly victory over Lechia Gdańsk on 29 July, which kept him sidelined for three weeks. On 24 November, Chiellini was nominated for the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year.
On 9 February 2016, it was confirmed that Chiellini would miss the Serie A match on 13 February against Napoli, as well as the first round of 16 leg of the Champions League on 23 February against Bayern Munich due to an injury. Chiellini returned to action on 28 February to take on rivals Internazionale, yet again sustaining an injury to his thigh which caused him to limp off the pitch and substituted off in the 35th minute. After already having missed the first round of 16 leg against Bayern, there was further doubt as to if he would miss the second leg as well on 16 March. However, after medical testing it was estimated he would only be out for ten days, initially thought to only miss the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals against Internazionale on 2 March and a Serie A match against Atalanta on 6 March; he wouldn't be fit for the second round of 16 leg of the Champions League, and missed the match. He returned from injury on 2 April, starting in a 1–0 home win over Empoli, but sustained yet another injury to his adductor longus muscle in his right thigh before being substituted off in the 54th minute of that match; further tests in the following days revealed he would be out for 20 days. He returned to action once again in a 2–1 away defeat to Verona, on 8 May. After constant injury spells throughout the season, Chiellini scored in the last match of the season on 14 May in the 77th minute of a 5–0 home win over Sampdoria, as Juventus celebrated winning the league title for a fifth consecutive time since the 2011–12 season; this was Chiellini's 400th appearance for Juventus. On 21 May, Chiellini captained Juventus in the 2016 Coppa Italia Final in Rome; he played a key role in a 1–0 extra-time victory over Milan (the club's eleventh Coppa Italia title in total), helping his team to defend the title and keep a clean sheet. He later lifted the trophy as Juventus became the first Italian club ever to win consecutive domestic doubles.
On 26 October 2016, Chiellini scored two goals in a 4–1 home win over Sampdoria after three weeks out due to injury. On 23 December, Chiellini scored the opening goal in the Supercoppa Italiana against Milan, but it ended in defeat as Milan won 4–3 in penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw after extra time.
On 28 April, he made his 300th appearance in Serie A with Juventus in a 2–2 away draw against Atalanta. On 3 June, after Chiellini missed out on the 2015 Champions League Final, he started in the 2017 final, Juventus' second final appearance in three years, but were defeated 4–1 by defending champions Real Madrid.
On 11 January 2018, Chiellini was named to the 2017 UEFA Team of the Year. He made his 350th appearance in Serie A in a 0–0 away draw against S.P.A.L., on 17 March. On 29 June, he was given a two-year contract extension until 2020 and also named the club's new captain after the departure of Buffon.
On 12 March 2019, Chiellini marked his 500th appearance in a Juventus jersey with a 3–0 win home to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 second leg to overturn a 2–0 deficit to reach the quarter-finals.
Chiellini made his debut for the Italian national team on 17 November 2004 against Finland under Marcello Lippi, at the age of 20, and has since become a regular squad member. He previously represented Italy at all youth levels, and he won the European Under-19 Championship with Italy in 2003, and was also a member of the Italy team that won the bronze medal at the football tournament of the 2004 Summer Olympics. He participated in the 2006 and 2007 U-21 Championships as Italy's captain, scoring 2 goals over both tournaments, although Italy were eliminated in the group stage on both occasions. He was named in the 'UEFA Team of the tournament' of the 2007 U-21 Championships held in the Netherlands, where Italy also obtained qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In total, he made 26 appearances for the Under-21 side, scoring 6 goals. He scored his first goal for Italy on 21 November 2007, against the Faroe Islands, in Modena, in a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match.
Chiellini was called up to Italy's squad for UEFA Euro 2008 under manager Roberto Donadoni, and injured captain Fabio Cannavaro in a collision during a training session, that resulted in Cannavaro missing out on the tournament. He was sidelined in the opening game against the Netherlands, which Italy went on to lose 3–0. He subsequently received the nod to partner Christian Panucci at centre-back from the second game onwards, cementing his place in the Azzurri defence; in the second group match of the tournament, he assisted Panucci's equaliser in a 1–1 draw against Romania. While he also featured in the final group game, keeping a clean-sheet in a 2–0 win against France, his most impressive display was arguably against Spain in the quarter-finals, where he famously neutralised the threat of the Spanish attacking duo of David Villa and Fernando Torres. The game ended 0–0, with Italy eventually losing 4–2 on penalties.
During 2010 World Cup qualifying, Chiellini cemented his place as an undisputed first-choice in Marcello Lippi's squad. He played the full 90 minutes in all three group matches at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup but Italy were eliminated at the group stages on goal difference. He was also the starting Italy centre back, along with Cannavaro, in the 2010 World Cup, although Italy disappointed and exited in the first round, finishing in last place in their group with two points, and failing to win a match or keep a clean sheet.
Under Cesare Prandelli, Chiellini was once again the starting centre back during Italy's UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. Along with Juventus teammates Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, and also Daniele De Rossi, he started in defence for Italy in the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, after recovering from an injury he had encountered during the final Serie A game of the season. He suffered another injury in Italy's final group match against Ireland, which ended in a 2–0 win, ruling him out of the quarter-final fixture against England; he returned to the starting line-up for Italy's 2–1 semi-final victory over Germany. Italy reached the final, but were defeated once again by Spain, suffering a 4–0 loss. Despite suffering a minor injury in the semi-final, Chiellini started as left back in the final, but was substituted after sustaining yet another injury; Spain's first goal of the match arose from his mistake, due to his precarious physical condition.
On 22 June 2013, Chiellini scored his third goal for Italy against Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup in a 2–4 defeat, a low shot to the net after the referee Ravshan Irmatov had initially signaled for a penalty kick to Italy. Italy managed to finish the tournament in third place, following a 3–2 penalty shootout win over Uruguay in the bronze medal match.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixture against the Czech Republic, at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, on 10 September 2013, Chiellini scored Italy's first goal in a 2–1 home win, which allowed the nation to clinch the top spot in their group and qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with two games at hand; this was the first time that the Italian squad had done so.
During the 2014 World Cup, in Italy's final group stage game against Uruguay, replays showed Luis Suárez biting Chiellini on the shoulder before Suárez fell and clutched his face, in Suárez's third career biting incident. As the Italian players protested to the Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez for not penalizing Suárez, Uruguay won a corner and scored, winning 1–0 to qualify for the last 16 and eliminating Italy. As a result, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee launched an investigation into the incident. On 26 June, The FIFA Disciplinary Committee announced that Suárez would be suspended for nine matches and banned from any football activity (including entering any stadium) for four months. Suárez was also fined CHF100,000 (approx. £65,700/€82,000/US$119,000). Even so, Chiellini expressed his view that the four-month ban for Suárez was "excessive".
On 10 October 2014 in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Azerbaijan in Palermo, Chiellini put Italy ahead with a first-half header. He then scored a late own goal, but headed a winner three minutes from time to give Italy a 2–1 victory. Italy qualified for Euro 2016 on 10 October of the following year after a 3–1 win over Azerbaijan. On 17 November 2015, Chiellini made his 82nd appearance for Italy in a 2–2 friendly home draw against Romania, overtaking Franco Baresi, Giuseppe Bergomi, and Marco Tardelli as Italy's tenth most capped player of all time. On 31 May 2016, Chiellini was named to Conte's 23-man Italy squad for Euro 2016. Playing alongside Bonucci and Barzagli, Chiellini drew praise for his defensive performances, as he helped Italy keep clean-sheets in both of their opening two victories over Belgium and Sweden, which enabled the nation to top their group and advance to the second round. Having been booked for a tactical foul in Italy's opening match on 13 June, Chiellini was rested for Italy's final group match against Ireland on 22 June, which ended in a 1–0 defeat. In the round of 16 at Stade de France in Paris on 27 June, he scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win over reigning European champions Spain and helped Italy record their third clean-sheet of the tournament. Italy were eliminated from the competition in a 6–5 penalty shoot-out defeat to reigning World Cup champions Germany in the quarter-finals, on 2 July.
In Italy's opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Israel on 5 September 2016, Chiellini earned his 90th international cap, but was later given his first ever national team red card after a second bookable offense in the 55th minute of an eventual 3–1 away win; causing him to miss the next group match against Spain on 6 October, an eventual 1–1 draw.
Chiellini also missed the return match against Spain on 2 September 2017, an eventual 3–0 away loss, as well as the return march against Israel on 5 September, an eventual 1–0 home win, with a calf injury. On 9 October, Chiellini made his 94th appearance for Italy in a 1–0 away victory over Albania in a World Cup qualifier, equalling Giacinto Facchetti as the nation's joint-eighth highest appearance holder of all time. Italy finished in Group G in second place behind Spain, and advanced to the play-off against Sweden. Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 1–0 aggregate loss to Sweden. Immediately following the second leg – a 0–0 home draw on 13 November –, was initially thought to be his final international appearance as Chiellini announced his retirement from the national team.
On 17 March 2018, despite Chiellini's initial decision to retire, he was called up for the March 2018 friendlies against Argentina and England by interim manager Luigi Di Biagio. After sustaining an injury, however, he was dropped from the squad, and Angelo Ogbonna was called up in his place.
He was once again called-up to the national team in September 2018, by manager Roberto Mancini, for Italy's opening UEFA Nations League matches against Poland and Portugal later that month. Chiellini was also named the new captain of the Italian national team following Gianluigi Buffon's international retirement. He subsequently wore the captain's armband in Italy's 1–1 home draw against Poland on 7 September, in their UEFA Nations League opener. On 11 October, he made his 98th appearance for Italy in a 1–1 friendly draw against Ukraine in Genoa, equalling Gianluca Zambrotta as his nation's joint-seventh highest appearance holder of all time. On 17 November, he made his 100th appearance for Italy in a 0–0 draw against Portugal at the San Siro stadium in Milan, in his team's final UEFA Nations League match.
Chiellini began his professional career as a defensive-minded left-back, but later made his name as an aggressive, courageous, physical, and hard-tackling centre-back, with a penchant for scoring headers from set-pieces, due to his aerial prowess and strength. A versatile, consistent, commanding, and dependable left-footed defender, with good awareness, positional sense, and an ability to read the game, he is capable of playing both in a three or four-man defence. A hard-working player, he is also known for his ability to cover ground and put pressure on or anticipate opponents in positions higher up on the pitch. Considered one of the best defenders in world football, regarding Chiellini's strength and man-marking ability, Walter Mazzarri once labeled him as "a force of nature", also adding "he's a universal player that any coach would love to have on his team. He is from another planet; he can mark three players by himself." Due to his tenacious, no-nonsense playing style, Chiellini has been described as an "old-fashioned" centre-back, who primarily serves as a ball-winner; his physicality and aggression as a defender, as well as his trademark goal celebration, which involves him beating his chest, have earned him the nickname "King Kong". Although he is not particularly skilful or elegant from a technical standpoint, he possesses good vision and reliable distribution, which allows him to play the ball out or launch attacks from the back after winning back possession. A popular figure with fans, he is also known for his dedication and vocal leadership on the pitch, and was Juventus's long-time vice captain, behind Gianluigi Buffon; following Buffon's departure in 2018, Chiellini was appointed the team's new captain. Although he is not known for his pace over short distances, he is also a mobile defender. Moreoever, he possesses a strong mentality, good temperament under pressure, determination, and excellent concentration. Despite his ability as a defender, he has often struggled with injuries in recent seasons.
Chiellini was raised in Livorno and is one of twin boys. He completed a laurea (bachelor's degree) in economics and commerce at the University of Turin in July 2010, and earned a laurea magistrale (master's degree) in business administration in April 2017 from the same institution, graduating cum laude (with honours). Unlike some other Italian top players that have never played abroad, Chiellini is a bilingual English speaker.
In July 2014, Chiellini married his long-time girlfriend Carolina Bonistalli at a private Catholic ceremony at the Sanctuary of Montenero in Livorno. The couple have a daughter named Nina (born July 2015).
Chiellini features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was on the covers of the Italian editions of FIFA 10, alongside global cover star Ronaldinho, and FIFA 11, alongside global cover star Kaká.
|1||21 November 2007||Stadio Alberto Braglia, Modena, Italy||Faroe Islands||3–0||3–1||UEFA Euro 2008 qualification|
|2||18 November 2009||Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena, Italy||Sweden||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|3||22 June 2013||Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil||Brazil||2–3||2–4||2013 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|4||10 September 2013||Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy||Czech Republic||1–1||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5||10 October 2014||Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy||Azerbaijan||1–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|7||27 June 2016||Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France||Spain||1–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2016|
|8||6 October 2017||Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Turin, Italy||Macedonia||1–0||1–1||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
ACF Fiorentina returned to Serie A, following a two-year absence after the bankruptcy of the previous incarnation of the club. Fiorentina returned only due to the expansion in terms of the number of top-league teams, and therefore had to significantly strengthen the squad in pre-season. Dario Dainelli, Giorgio Chiellini, Hidetoshi Nakata, Fabrizio Miccoli, Martin Jørgensen, goalkeeper Cristiano Lupatelli, Enzo Maresca, Tomáš Ujfaluši and Javier Portillo were among the highly rated players to sign up for Fiorentina, either permanently or on loan. With this squad, Fiorentina was expected to challenge for a place on the top half of the table, but slipped into the relegation battle that affected more than half of the Serie A clubs during the dramatic season. In the end, a strong finish to the season under incoming coach Dino Zoff saved La Viola from relegation, with an emotional 3–0 victory against Brescia confirming their survival.2010 FIFA World Cup Group F
Group F of the 2010 FIFA World Cup began on 14 June 2010 and ended on 24 June 2010. The group consisted of 2006 winner Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia. Italy and Paraguay previously met in the first round of the 1950 tournament, with Italy winning 2–0; neither qualified for the next round.
Italy were eliminated from the group with just two points, behind underdogs New Zealand, who drew all three of their matches to finish on three points. New Zealand ended up being the only unbeaten team at the finals, thanks in part to Spain's defeat to Switzerland in their Group H game. Italy, placed last, making it the first time since 1974 that the Italians did not advance beyond the first round.2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Group A
Group A of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup took place from 15 to 22 June 2013. Brazil won the group, and advanced to the second round, along with Italy. Mexico and Japan failed to advance.2013 Supercoppa Italiana
The 2013 TIM Supercoppa Italiana Final was the 26th edition of the Supercoppa, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Serie A and Coppa Italia competitions. Juventus, reigning Serie A champions, won the game 4–0 against Coppa Italia holders Lazio. It was Juventus' second consecutive Supercoppa win, and sixth overall, matching Milan's record.2014 FIFA World Cup Group D
Group D of the 2014 FIFA World Cup consisted of Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, and Italy. This was the only group to contain more than one previous winner of the World Cup, as there were three previous winners. It was also the only group with three top 10 FIFA World Ranking teams as of October 2013 (ranking date for final draw) and at the start of the competition. Play began on 14 June and ended on 24 June 2014.
Costa Rica topped the group undefeated, despite being considered underdogs and expected to finish last in a group containing three former winners of the competition. Two of them, England and Italy, were eliminated.2014 Supercoppa Italiana
The 2014 Supercoppa Italiana was the 27th edition of the Supercoppa Italiana, Italian football supercup, played on 22 December 2014 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar. It was held between 2013–14 Serie A champions, Juventus, and the winners of the 2013–14 Coppa Italia, Napoli. The game was tentatively scheduled to be played on 24 August 2014, but due to Napoli's participation in the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League play-off round, the team asked that the game be rescheduled during Serie A's winter break. Napoli emerged as the victorious side 6–5 in a penalty shootout, following a 2–2 draw, to pick up their second trophy in the tournament. Qatar became the fifth different country to host a Supercoppa Italiana.2015 Coppa Italia Final
The 2015 Coppa Italia Final decided the winner of the 2014–15 Coppa Italia, the 68th season of Italy's main football cup. It was played on 20 May 2015 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, between Juventus and Lazio. Juventus won 2–1 after extra time for a record tenth title.As Juventus won the 2014–15 Serie A, Lazio qualified automatically as the cup representative in the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana.2017 Supercoppa Italiana
The 2017 Supercoppa Italiana was the 30th edition of the Supercoppa Italiana, the Italian football super cup. It was played on 13 August 2017 in Rome, Italy. With Juventus winning both the 2016–17 Serie A championship and the 2016–17 Coppa Italia, the game was played between Juventus and the 2016–17 Coppa Italia runners-up, Lazio. Lazio won the match 3–2 and claimed their fourth Supercoppa title.2018 MLS All-Star Game
The 2018 Major League Soccer All-Star Game was the 23rd edition of the annual Major League Soccer All-Star Game. It was held on August 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and played against Italian club Juventus. The match was tied 1–1 after 90 minutes and was settled in a penalty shoot-out that Juventus won 5–3.Josef Martínez won MVP.
The match was attended by 72,317, setting a new record for an MLS All-Star Game.European Sports Media
The European Sports Media (ESM), formerly European Sports Magazines, is an association of football-related publications in Europe.Header (association football)
Header is a technique that is used in association football to control the ball using the head to pass, shoot or clear. This can be done by standing, jumping or diving position. Header is a common technique and is used by players in almost every match.
In general, a forward uses a header to score a goal while a defender usually uses a header to prevent the scoring of a goal by the opponent. A header is the only option when the ball is in air, because of the rule that a player can’t make contact with the ball using their hands. Most header goals are scored as a result of a cross or a corner. The playmaker passes the ball across the goal in the air, and the attacking player (either standing, jumping or diving position) strikes the ball with his head.Footballers such as Marco van Basten, Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andy Carroll, Harry Kane, Olivier Giroud, Gareth Bale, Javier Hernandez, Sergio Ramos, Peter Crouch, Giorgio Chiellini, Ali Daei and Abby Wambach are players who are notable for their quality headers.Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci (Italian pronunciation: [leoˈnardo boˈnuttʃi]; born 1 May 1987) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Serie A club Juventus and the Italy national team.After beginning his career with Inter Milan in 2005, Bonucci spent the next few seasons on loan at Treviso and Pisa, before moving to Bari in 2009. His technique, ball-playing ability and defensive performances alongside fellow Italian centre-back Andrea Ranocchia earned him a move to Juventus the following season, where he later became a key member of the club's three-man defensive line, alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in world football. He went on to win six consecutive Serie A titles with the team between 2012 and 2017. In 2017, he moved to A.C. Milan, and one season later returned to Juventus.
At international level, Bonucci has represented Italy at two FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2014), two European Championships (2012 and 2016), and a FIFA Confederations Cup (2013), winning a runners-up medal at Euro 2012, and a third-place medal at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Bonucci has also won several individual honours for his performances: he was named to the UEFA Europa League Squad of the season during the 2013–14 and 2017–18 seasons, and is a three-time member of the Serie A Team of the Year. He was named the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2016, and was also included in the UEFA Team of the Year in the same season. In 2017, he was also included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI and the IFFHS Men's World Team, as well as the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League Team of the Season and the 2016–17 ESM Team of the Year.List of 2014 FIFA World Cup controversies
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil generated various controversies, including demonstrations, some of which took place even before the tournament started. Most centred on officiating, with referees coming under criticism for their performances. Furthermore, there were various issues with safety, including eight deaths of workers and a fire during construction, breaches into stadiums, an unstable makeshift staircase at the Maracanã Stadium, a monorail collapse, and the collapse of an unfinished overpass in Belo Horizonte. The most notable disciplinary case was that of Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez, who was disciplined after biting an Italian player, defender Giorgio Chiellini, during a game.List of Italy national football team captains
This is a list of all the captains who played for the Italy national football team.
Francesco Calì was the first captain of the Italian national football team.The only players who were captains in all matches they have played in the national team were Giuseppe Milano (11 appearances), Francesco Calì (2 caps) and Giulio Cappelli (2 caps).
Gianluigi Buffon wore the captain band the most times: 80.Gianluigi Buffon is also the goalkeeper who has worn the captain band the most times: 80.
Valentino Mazzola and Sandro Mazzola as well as Cesare Maldini and Paolo Maldini are the only cases of father and son who have worn the captain band during their respective times on the national team. Goalkeepers, Gianluigi Buffon and Lorenzo Buffon are distant cousins. Attilio Ferraris and Pietro Ferraris, despite the same surname, are not relatives.
Giorgio Chiellini is the current captain of the national team.List of international goals scored by Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez is a Uruguayan professional footballer who represents the Uruguay national football team as a striker. He made his debut for his country in a 3–1 friendly victory over Colombia in Cúcuta in January 2007. His first goal came in his third appearance for Uruguay, scoring the opening goal in a 5–0 victory in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against the same opposition in October 2007. Suárez became his country's top scorer at the age of 26 when he scored twice against Tahiti in a 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup group match in June 2013. Suárez scored eleven goals during Uruguay's qualification campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making him joint top scorer with Robin van Persie during qualification. Following an incident in which he was adjudged to have bitten Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the finals, Suárez was banned for nine international games and did not feature for Uruguay in 2015. His goal in the 1–0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup made Suárez the only Uruguayan to score in three World Cup final tournaments.As of September 2018, Suárez has scored three or more goals (a hat-trick) on two occasions. He scored three times against Indonesia in a 7–1 friendly win in October 2010, and all four goals in a 4–0 victory in a 2014 World Cup qualification game against Chile in November 2011. He has scored more goals in World Cup qualifiers than in any other format with 21, followed by 20 in friendlies. Suárez has scored seven times in World Cup finals, four times in the Copa América and three times in the FIFA Confederations Cup. He has scored more times (five) against Peru, Bolivia and Chile than any other opponent. Nineteen of his goals have been scored at the Estadio Centenario, the remainder coming at overseas venues. Suárez's most recent goals came on 7 September 2018 when he scored twice in a 4–1 friendly victory over Mexico played in Houston. He has scored 55 international goals in 104 appearances.Luis Suárez
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (American Spanish: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾes]; born 24 January 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Barcelona and the Uruguay national team. Often regarded as one of the best players in the world, Suárez has won 17 trophies in his career, including five league titles and a UEFA Champions League title at club level, and a Copa América with Uruguay. A prolific goalscorer, Suárez has won two European Golden Shoes,
an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, as well as ending the six-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning La Liga's Pichichi Trophy in 2016. He has scored over 400 senior career goals for club and country.Suárez began his career as a youth player for Nacional in 2003. At age 19, he relocated to the Netherlands to play for Groningen, before transferring to Ajax in 2007. He won his first trophy in 2010, the KNVB Cup, finishing the season as the league's top scorer and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. A year later, he helped Ajax secure the Eredivisie title, and scored his 100th Ajax goal. In January 2011, Suárez transferred to Liverpool, and won the League Cup in his first full season. In 2014, he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the Premier League Golden Boot, and sharing the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo before moving to Barcelona in a transfer worth €82.3 million (£64.98 million), making him one of the most expensive players in football history.In his first season at Barcelona, Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. Messi, Suárez, Neymar (dubbed MSN), scored a total of 122 goals that season, the most for an attacking front three in Spanish football history. In his second season at the club, Suárez won his first Pichichi Trophy as well as his second European Golden Shoe, for which he became the first player since 2009 to win both awards other than Messi or Ronaldo. He ended the season with a total of 40 league goals, 14 of which came in his last five matches, and 16 assists, becoming the first player in history to top La Liga in both goals and assists.Suárez is Uruguay's all-time leading goalscorer. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup he played an important role in Uruguay's fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, as well as controversially blocking a goal-bound extra time header with his hands during the quarter-final against Ghana. At the 2011 Copa América, Suárez scored four goals as Uruguay won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Suárez scored his 40th international goal before he was suspended from the tournament after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suárez has been a source of controversy throughout his career. As well as his goal-line handball, he has also bitten opponents on three separate occasions. He has also been accused of and admitted to diving, and in 2011, the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Suárez disputes.Serie A Defender of the Year
The Serie A Defender of the Year (Italian: Migliore difensore) was a yearly award organized by the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) from 2000 to 2010 as part of the Oscar del Calcio awards event, given to the defender who has been considered to have performed the best over the previous Serie A season.
Since 2011, best defenders are chosen as part of the Serie A Team of the Year award within the Gran Galà del Calcio awards event.Serie A Team of the Year
The Serie A Team of the Year AIC (in Italian: Squadra dell’anno AIC) is an annual award given to a set of 11 footballers in the top tier of Italian football, the Serie A, who are seen to be the best eleven players of the calendar season. It is awarded within the Gran Galà del Calcio event.
The award has been presented since the 2010–11 season. The shortlist is compiled by the members of the players' trade union, the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC).UEFA Euro 2012 Group C
Group C of UEFA Euro 2012 began on 10 June 2012 and ended on 18 June 2012. The pool consisted of Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland and Croatia. Spain and Italy progressed to the quarter-finals, while Croatia and Republic of Ireland were eliminated from the tournament. Republic of Ireland equalled the worst performance by a team in the group stage of the European Championships, finishing with no points and a goal difference of −8. Both Spain and Italy made it through the quarter-finals and semi-finals to reach the final for a second meeting in the tournament.
In their final match, the Republic of Ireland wore black armbands to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Loughinisland massacre. This was criticised by some unionists and members of the UVF. However, the victims' families fully supported the gesture.
Juventus F.C. – current squad