Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini will retire from international football after the European champions play a friendly against their South American counterparts Argentina at Wembley in June.
Italy’s failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Qatar appears to have hastened the 37-year-old Juventus defender’s decision, with Argentina’s match in London, where the Azzurri won the European Championship last July, to be his last.
“I will say goodbye to the national team at Wembley, which is where I experienced the pinnacle of my career by winning the European Championship,” Chiellini told DAZN after Juve’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Monday.
“I would like to say goodbye to the Azzurri with a nice memory. That will certainly be my last game with Italy.”
With 116 appearances for the national team, Chiellini ranks fifth on Italy’s all-time charts alongside Andrea Pirlo, with only Daniele De Rossi, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon ahead of him.
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However, the veteran centre-back, who came on as a substitute for Juventus on Monday, has not decided whether to extend his career at the club beyond this season.
“My love story with Juventus is not over, it will never end,” he added. Of course, between now and the end of the season I do have to evaluate everything, talk to my family about what is best.
“Let’s get to fourth place first (in Serie A) and win the Coppa Italia, then we’ll sit down with my two families, at home and at Juventus, to find out what’s best for everyone.
“The same thing happened last summer, I took some time off and didn’t sign the new contract until after the European Championship. At my age, you can’t look too far into the future, but that’s natural, it’s all good.”
Juve are fourth, eight points clear of fifth-placed AS Roma, with four games remaining in the race for a Champions League spot. They will face Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final on May 11.