just yet. After 23 years of professional football, Giorgio Chiellini is still embracing every game and training session like it’s his first. The 38-year-old Italian defender, who has won nine Serie A titles with Juventus, an Olympic bronze medal, and captained Italy to the European Championship, joined LAFC last June and has since been living the good life.
“I wanted to help the team [by] I bring my knowledge but also my attitude,” said Chiellini, who speaks fluent English. “It’s not about me because to be honest I’m giving the team what I can. But it is the work of all coaches, the work of the entire club.
Everyone has different goals, but everyone needs these trophies to achieve their own goals.” Chiellini has made an invaluable contribution to the team, both on and off the field.
He has been a vocal leader, mentoring and tutoring the team’s young defenders, and has also been an invaluable source of knowledge, having seen everything from the Champions League to the World Cup.
He has also been a great ambassador for the league, having watched every MLS game and knowing the players by name.
“His energy is tremendous for us,” said LAFC teammate Kellyn Acosta. “He’s seen everything from the Champions League to the World Cup to play at the highest level for so many years.”
Chiellini’s former teammate Alessandro Del Piero, arguably the greatest Italian player of all time, is also responsible for his move to the US. After retiring in 2015, Del Piero moved to LA and opened an Italian restaurant, and has been touting the virtues of the city to everyone who will listen – including Chiellini, who has never played for a team outside of Italy. Chiellini’s move to LAFC has also been a great experience for his family.
He and his wife Carolina have two daughters, 7-year-old Nina and 3-year-old Olivia, and the opportunity to introduce them to a different lifestyle and language was a huge bonus of the move. Chiellini’s contract expires at the end of the season, and while he isn’t sure what the future holds, he is living in the moment and enjoying every day.
“I enjoy every day because I know I’m near the end,” he said. “There are many problems in life, but I think we have to enjoy what we’re doing.” Giorgio Chiellini is making the most of his time in LAFC and the MLS, cherishing every moment of his professional career and embracing the opportunity to experience a new culture and lifestyle. He is a leader, mentor, and ambassador for the league, and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
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