Rome (AFP) – Giorgio Chiellini’s final match for Italy against Argentina next week is a chance to thank him for his 18-year service, coach Roberto Mancini said on Friday.
Chiellini has announced his departure from club side Juventus and his international retirement at the end of this season, but the 37-year-old could continue to play in North America, according to several media reports.
The ‘Finalissima’ game at Wembley will be Chiellini’s 117th international appearance for the European champions.
“He made his choice and choices must be respected. I will speak with him to thank him, it’s normal for him to take another route,” Mancini told a press conference at the start of Italy’s training camp.
The defender won a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics with Italy before being called up for the senior team by Marcello Lippi in November that year against Finland.
Eighteen years later he is among a group of 45 players called up by Mancini in June. Italy face Copa America winners Argentina in London on Wednesday in the revived meeting of the champions of Europe and South America.
Italy will then play Germany twice, Hungary and England in the Nations League.
Mancini insisted that Chiellini would be the only retirement from the Azzurri, despite Italy missing out on a second consecutive World Cup.
“Some may play their last game of the season (against Argentina) and go home because we have to make choices, but no one is Giorgio’s age,” said Mancini.
“We have to start again, the supporters are still behind us despite what happened.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- AC Milan make ex-delivery man Messias’ move permanent
- How US Soccer can take a stance on overturning Roe v Wade
- Where to find Jamaica vs. USWNT on US TV
- Haiti’s women footballers dream of international success
- ESPN wants FIFA 2030 World Cup rights
- Record crowd sees England women off to winning start at Euro 2022
- Veteran France keeper Mandanda joins Rennes after Marseille exit
- Italy’s Pessina moves to ambitious Monza on loan
- Adams joins American contingent at Leeds
- Veteran France keeper Mandanda set for Rennes after Marseille exit