Giorgio Chiellini (born 14 August 1984) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Serie A club Juventus and the Italian national team. 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 five consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2016, as well as two consecutive Coppa Italia titles, and three Supercoppa Italiana titles. He made his international debut for Italy in 2004, and has since earned over 80 caps. 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 a third-place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Chiellini began his career as a left-back, but made his name as an aggressive, physical, and hard-tackling centre back, with a penchant for scoring headers from set-pieces, due to his aerial prowess and strength. A versatile defender, he is capable of playing both in a three or four-man defence. Regarded as one of the best defenders in world football, Walter Mazzarri once labeled him as “a force of nature, 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.” A popular figure with fans, he is also known for his leadership, and is Juventus’s vice-captain, behind Gianluigi Buffon.
Chiellini is considered to be one of the footballing world’s top defenders: in 2012, The Guardian named him the 50th Best Player in the World, and in 2013 he was ranked as the seventh-best footballer playing in Europe by Bloomberg.