Juventus and Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini says he will be available for the Azzurri’s World Cup play-offs this month and suggests Paulo Dybala follow his and Leo Messi’s example.
The veteran defender spoke to Sky Sport Italia after an event organized by his NGO ‘Gli Insuperabili.’
Chiellini is currently out of action due to a calf injury but is expected to return to action in the coming weeks.
“I am feeling better, I’ve been out for a month, but I am working on the pitch and the last week was good,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“I hope I can return to group training in the next few days.”
Does it mean that he will return in time for Italy’s World Cup play-offs in March?
“I think so; actually, I hope I can help even earlier,” the defender said.
Juventus have only lost one game in 2022 (the Italian Supercoppa clash against Inter) and are the best team in the last seven matches along with Roma. Both sides collected 15 points in the process. Do Juventus players believe in the Scudetto?
“Our path began in November, we needed a few months to know each other. We were affected by the International break in South America with many important players for us playing a lot of games. Except for defeats against Atalanta and Inter, we became consistent from November onwards.
“The signings of Dusan Vlahovic of Denis Zakaria has given enthusiasm, the team is improving and we must continue like this.
“Saturday’s game will be difficult, we are aware that Sampdoria need points. Then there is the Champions League and it’s vital for everyone to qualify for the quarter-finals.
“I believe that we must be realistic, the fans can dream, but we must be realistic. Clearly, if we win many games in a row we can think about it [the Scudetto].
“Until a few weeks ago, we were not even fourth. Many games are remaining and I think the same as the coach. We are not hiding, but we need balance. After the draw against Torino and Atalanta, it seemed all over. Now they say we can be title challengers. We need balance and that’s a quality that the coach has. If the teams up there make mistakes, we must make the most of them, but right now, we need balance.”
Paulo Dybala sees his contract expire at the end of the season and Juventus have postponed a meeting with the Argentinean striker which was supposed to take place today. His future seems far from Turin, but does Chiellini have any advice for the striker?
“I think the most important thing is to focus on the pitch, Leo Messi and I won for Italy and Argentina despite being out of contract in the summer. These situations are common in modern football, the best thing is to focus on the pitch.”
Chiellini and Messi led Italy and Argentina to win the Euros and the Copa America, lifting the trophy after that their contract with Juventus and Barcelona had expired.