The Juventus ‘gladiator’ with four broken noses and two degrees relishing Real Madrid testApril 3, 2018
Standing at 6ft 3in with a powerful build, Chiellini also possesses a near super-human anticipation for where the ball is going to drop that makes him one of the best man-markers in the game. Mazzarri once said that Chiellini “can mark three players by himself.”
Chiellini admits: “I put stock in physical one-on-ones and winning individual duels.”
He also puts his success down to “concentration”, which Chiellini believes is the single-most important quality for a defender.
Toricelli puts him in the same bracket as Scirea and Gentile, and says he must be in the top 10 all-time great Italian defenders.
But even those Juventus legends never managed six straight Serie A scudetti, as Chiellini did between 2012 and 2017 when he, Bonucci and Barzagli formed the fabled “BBC” back three upon which Juve’s success was built.
Chiellini said wistfully of the trio this year: “When we had [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Andrea] Barzagli, myself and Gigi Buffon at the back, what we had was special. It is not just technical…it is a feeling, emotion, a level of experience.”