Giorgio Chiellini has revealed that he would have stayed at Juventus for another season had Italy qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The legendary defender is set to leave La Vecchia Signora after 17 trophy-laden years at the club, with a move to MLS said to be very much on the cards. Chiellini is expected to sign for Los Angeles FC (LAFC) in the coming days, ahead of his Juventus contract expiring at the end of June.
In an interview with Sportweek, the 37-year-old gave an insight into why he has decided to leave Juventus, stating that he would have stayed had Italy booked a place at the World Cup.
“Yes, I would have continued because I wanted to try to change my history with the World Cup, which has never been happy. I tried hard, but I couldn’t do it.
“In 2010 we went out badly in a more than manageable group, in 2014 we had a great start but we made life difficult for ourselves by losing the seeded place because we then played in really prohibitive conditions, with crazy travel, schedules and heat. In 2018 we didn’t even qualify and I had this big regret. You think that if we had qualified for Russia I would have left the national team after that World Cup. And I probably would have made a mistake, because then I had my best years.”
Italy were shockingly unable to qualify for the tournament in Qatar having recently won Euro 2020 - beating England in the final at Wembley Stadium. Gli Azzurri, due to finishing second in their qualification group, entered into the qualification play-off rounds where they fell at the first hurdle to a spirited North Macedonia team.
Their form hasn't improved much since then either. Italy were beaten 3-0 by Argentina in Chiellini's last international game this past week.