Federico Chiesa admits he considered quitting football aged 14

Jamie Spencer
Federico Chiesa thought about quitting football when he was younger
Federico Chiesa thought about quitting football when he was younger / Nicolò Campo/Getty Images

Juventus winger Federico Chiesa has admitted that he considered quitting football when he was around 14 because he was struggling to physically compete at youth level.

Chiesa was one of the stars of Italy’s Euro 2020 winning squad during the summer and will become a permanent Juventus player for up to €50m when his €10m two-year loan ends next year.

But his story could have been so different had his family not convinced him to stick with football.

Chiesa candidly told the Daily Telegraph that his education, which came at the International School in Florence where most classes are taught in English, was crucial to his all-round development as a person. It has helped him on his journey to becoming a professional footballer, but equally prepared him for a different life had his dreams not worked out as they have.

“[My family] believed I could become a footballer one day but they also believed I could have done something else,” the 23-year-old, whose father Enrico found fame in Serie A in the 1990s, said.

“[Good grades and football] are complementary. In the modern world education is key. It helps you get through,” he added.

“There were many times when I wasn’t playing in the [Fiorentina] youth team so I was like ‘let’s quit and try something else’. But with the help of my family they pushed me to train harder and let my body grow because I was really tiny and skinny.

“When I was 14 I was small and did not have the physicality of my teammates so I didn’t play. My family helped me to find another option if I was not going to play and that was school. They said ‘look you are not playing but give your best in training and it will come’ and that’s what I did. It was the best decision I could ever make. And at 15 I started to grow.”

Chiesa shone for Juventus last season before his exploits with Italy at Euro 2020, scoring 15 times and providing 11 assists in all competitions.

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