Giorgio Chiellini has just completed his final home game for Juventus.
It’s the end of an era at the Allianz Stadium with the Juve legend and captain drawing the curtains on a wildly successful 17-year stint in the famous black and white stripes.
While Chiellini might actually have been signed by the Old Lady back in 2004, it was the following season that he started playing for the Turin side having played out on loan at Fiorentina.
Chiellini’s Juventus legacy
And truth be told, Juventus have never looked back with Chiellini quickly establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet, duly becoming part of the furniture at the club.
In fact, the warrior-like centre-back went on to make more than 500 appearances for the club, consistently playing 20 or 30 times a season even as he entered his thirties.
And while game time might have been harder to come by in recent seasons, Chiellini has only ever been a few matches away from proving his class – and you only have to ask England to know that.
Overall, the 37-year-old won nine Serie A titles, five Coppa Italia crowns, five Supercoppa Italiana trophies and reached two Champions League finals with the Italian giants.
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Chiellini bids goodbye
However, all good things must come to an end and the expiry of Chiellini’s contract this summer brought an end to one of the most fruitful player-club collaborations of modern men’s football.
And Juventus’ league clash with Lazio on Monday night proved to be his last chance to play in front of the fans that have cheered his name for the best part of two decades.
As such, Massimiliano Allegri not only gave the Juve legend his moment in the sun by handing him a starting place, but also afforded him the opportunity to enjoy a ceremonial substitution.
An emotional farewell
In a style of tribute popularised by John Terry and Didier Drogba’s farewells at Chelsea, Chiellini waved goodbye to the Juventus faithful when he was hooked off 17 minutes into the Lazio clash.
Why 17 minutes? Well, although nothing is confirmed at this stage, fans are putting two and two together and suggesting that it’s because Chiellini has played 17 seasons for the club.
Either way, the scenes at the Allianz Stadium were rather special as Chiellini soaked up the moment by sharing hugs with his teammates and taking in a standing ovation from the fans.
It truly was a fitting send-off for one of the great defenders of our generation, so be sure to soak up the moment that he said goodbye to the Juventus faithful for the final time down below:
Giorgio Chiellini departs the field at the Allianz Stadium one final time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/AJUFqp8WvH— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 16, 2022
Take a bow, Giorgio, take a bow.
What next for Chiellini?
Now, it’s important to note that we haven’t seen the last of Chiellini for good because he might still feature in the final-day clash with Fiorentina, albeit one that won’t be hosted in Turin.
Beyond that, the 37-year-old won’t hang up his boots for the Italian national team until after the European champions lock horns with the Copa America winners at Wembley Stadium this summer.
And then, football fans will just have to wait and see where the Italian colossus moves next with rumours and reports suggesting that Major League Soccer might prove to be his next destination.
However, no matter what the future holds for Chiellini, there’s no denying that we was given a farewell befitting of a Juventus legend on his final game in front of the Turin faithful. Bravo, Giorgio.