Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini has revealed that his transfer to MLS side LAFC only came about as a result of Italy not making the 2022 World Cup.

Chiellini joined the Black and Gold in June following a glittering 17-year spell with Juventus, where he made 561 appearances across all competitions and won a host of major honors, including nine Serie A titles.

At international level, Chiellini picked up 117 caps for Italy, helping them win the European Championships just last year.

However, the Azzurri failed to make the FIFA World Cup for the second time in a row – a failure that Chiellini says opened the door for him to be able to move to MLS and LAFC.

“I follow this league for many years,” he told the Call Up podcast. “I see how it is increasing. 

“I have always been fascinated by the US as a life, MLS as a league, and after losing the chance to go to the World Cup, I received a call from LAFC and I started to think it is a good moment for me and my family to try this experience.”

Chiellini has now played nine times for LAFC, who are battling hard alongside the Philadelphia Union for the Supporters’ Shield title.

At 38 years old, Chiellini is certainly heading toward the twilight of his career but with that comes the chance to pass on his years of experience to others, dark arts included, to a team and league that he’s been impressed by so far.

“We have a good defense and I am happy to stay with them, maybe teach them some little secrets, the heart of defending and some darker arts!” Chiellini laughed. “But the level of defending is good. 

“I am still fit and good, not like when I was 25 but I am still feeling good and happy to be here. I hope I can help this league continue to grow and I try to do my part. I really believe in it. I hope with my presence, MLS could be followed more in Europe. 

“From now until 2026, the World Cup here and this league has a good chance to continue to increase its presence.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.


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