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Juventus star Giorgio Chiellini reveals regret over rejecting move to Arsenal

Parma Calcio v Juventus - Serie A
Parma Calcio v Juventus - Serie A
Joshua Ojele
Modified 04 Feb 2021

Juventus veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini, in an interview with French magazine So Foot, has revealed deep regrets over rejecting the chance to sign for Arsenal when they came in for him at the young age of 16.

The Juventus legend shared memories of how he was close to a move to the Premier League when Arsenal came calling in 2001.

The 36-year-old defender also revealed that he rejected a move to the Gunners, as he felt he would be betraying his boyhood club Livorno. 

Speaking with French magazine So Foot, Giorgio Chiellini said:

"In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer. I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer.
"I didn't feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno."

Four years later in 2005, Giorgio Chiellini moved to Juventus, and he has gone on to have a glittering and trophy-laden stint with the Turin-based club. 

Juventus legend Chiellini reveals Zlatan Ibrahimovic as his greatest rival

Zlantan Ibrahimovic and Giorgio Chiellini
Zlantan Ibrahimovic and Giorgio Chiellini

While speaking to So Foot, Giorgio Chiellini also added that he holds AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the highest regard, before calling him the "best enemy" he has had in his career.

Chiellini added:

"I respect Zlatan a lot, we respect each other. We were teammates, in my first season at Juve. I was never afraid to face him, never took a step back in front of him. He already had extraordinary physical strength.
"After that he became the absolute enemy, when he moved. The best enemy of my career is Ibrahimovic, without a doubt."

The Italy international, who turns 37 in August, is now in his 16th season with Juventus since joining from Fiorentina for €6.5m in 2005.

Since joining the Serie A giants, Giorgio Chiellini has lifted an incredible nine Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies. He also reached the UEFA Champions League finals on two occasions, where they fell short to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

While Giorgio Chiellini slowly enters the twilight of his career, his influence at Juventus remains unmatched, as he provides head coach Andrea Pirlo with the experience needed for success.

Published 04 Feb 2021, 22:25 IST
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