Washington [US], June 14 (ANI): Major League Soccer (MLS) side Los Angeles FC have announced that the club has signed legendary Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini to a contract through 2023.
Chiellini will occupy an international roster slot upon the receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). LAFC will formally introduce Chiellini at a press conference on the morning of Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium.
Chiellini, 37, joins LAFC from Italian Serie A side Juventus FC, where he spent 17 years leading the Club in an unprecedented run that included nine consecutive Serie A titles from 2011-2020.
A three-time Serie A Defender of the Year, Chiellini was named to the Italian League’s Team of the Year five straight times from 2012-2018, in addition to winning five Italian Cups and five Italian Super Cups.
“Giorgio is a special, one-of-a-kind player and person,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said.
“Signing Giorgio was a unique opportunity to improve our club. He will complement what we believe is already a strong team as every day he will set the right example with his leadership competitiveness, and experience. He is a serial winner at the highest levels, and we are grateful he has chosen LAFC to join in our pursuit of trophies.”
Chiellini played 117 times for Italy, helping lead the Azzurri to the 2020 European Championship where he was recognized as the Defender of the Tournament. The Pisa, Italy native appeared for Italy in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup and registered a total of eight goals and four assists in his time with the National Team.
“I felt very strongly about this new chapter in my career, and I am grateful to LAFC for this opportunity,” said Chiellini. “I’m thankful for all my years with Juventus and I’m looking forward to winning many more trophies in Los Angeles.”
Recognized as one of the top defenders in the world, Chiellini played in 392 Serie A matches for Juventus and appeared in a total of 561 games for Juventus across all competitions, including 74 UEFA Champions League matches and 14 Europa League games.
Chiellini leaves Juventus as the third longest-serving player at Juventus (17 years, 2005-2022) behind Gianluigi Buffon (19 years, 2001-2018 & 2019-2021) and Alessandro Del Piero (19 years, 1993- 2012). He succeeded Buffon as the Juventus captain in 2018.
Chiellini began his career at his local club AS Livorno at the age of six, working his way through the youth ranks of Livorno and the Youth National Teams. He made his professional debut at 16 in 2001 and made 62 overall appearances for Livorno before joining ACF Fiorentina in 2004, making his Serie A debut on Sept. 12, 2004. Chiellini played one season with Fiorentina before moving to Juventus where he would go on to make history. (ANI)