Italy defender to retire from International Football

By Piyush

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Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini will retire from International Football following the European champions’ friendly versus Argentina at Wembley in June.

Chiellini has made 116 features, but was part of the squad that flunked to quality for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

“I’ll say goodbye to the national team at Wembley,” Chiellini notified after Juventus’ 2-1 victory at Sassuolo.

“Where I experienced the pinnacle of my career winning the Euros.”

Chiellini, made his Italy debut in 2004, was a crucial figure in the team that defeat England on penalties in last summer’s European Championship final.

“I’d like to say goodbye to the Azzurri with a nice memory. That will certainly be my last game with Italy,” he appended.

Chiellini, also a Euros runner-up in 2012, is joint 5th in the list of Italy’s most-capped players apace with Andrea Pirlo. Only Daniele de Rossi, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon have made more features.

The legend centre-back, who came on as a substitute for Juventus in Monday’s victory, has not yet decided whether to extend his club career past this season.

“My love affair with Juventus is not ending, it will never end,” stated Chiellini. “Of course, from now to the end of the season I do have to evaluate everything, talk to my family about what is best.”

“Let’s reach fourth place [in Serie A] first and win the Coppa Italia, then we’ll sit down with my two families – at home and Juventus – to figure out what is best for everyone.”

“It was the same last summer, I took time and didn’t sign the new contract until after the Euros. At my age, you can’t look too far into the long-term, but that’s only natural, it’s all fine.”

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