If Italy had qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Qatar, defender Giorgio Chiellini has said that he would have continued with Juventus.
This month, the 37-year-old Italy international will leave the Bianconeri after 17 years to join MLS team Los Angeles FC for one more adventure in his career. In the 3-0 Finalissima defeat to Argentina earlier this week, Chiellini earned his 117th and last Azzurri cap.
Chiellini stated to Sportweek that his departure from Juventus was due to his inability to qualify for the World Cup.
“Yes, I would have continued because I wanted to try to change my history with the World Cup, which has never been happy. I tried hard, but I couldn’t do it.”
“In 2010 we went out badly in a more than manageable group, in 2014 we had a great start but we made life difficult for ourselves by losing the seeded place because we then played in really prohibitive conditions, with crazy travel, schedules, and heat.
“In 2018 we didn’t even qualify and I had this big regret. You think that if we had qualified for Russia I would have left the national team after that World Cup. And I probably would have made a mistake, because then I had my best years.”
Chiellini, who joined Juventus from Fiorentina in the summer of 2005, made 561 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring 36 goals and supplying 25 assists.
With the Bianconeri, he won 19 major awards, including nine Scudetti and five Coppa Italia. Last summer, the defender was a key member of the Azzurri side that won Euro 2020.