Throughout his 17-year spell at Juventus, Giorgio Chiellini cemented himself as one of the best defenders of his generation.

However, a severe injury suffered in August 2019 threatened to end his playing days, as it occurred at a relatively late stage of his career.

Nonetheless, the former Bianconeri captain managed to overcome it, regaining his status as a stalwart for both club and country. He even produced some of his best career performances during Italy’s triumphant Euro 2020 campaign.

But according to his longtime friend and teammate Leonardo Bonucci, Chiellini returned from his injury a changed man.

The current Juventus captain reveals that his old comrade felt the need to enjoy the remaining part of his playing, thus adopting a less intense approach.

“I can tell you that there was a pre-injury and post-injury Chiellini,” said Bonucci in a chat with Junior Reporter via JuventusNews24.

“Before the matches, his preparations were full of pressure. But the injury was the turning point. Afterward, he only thought about living those two or three years remaining in his career.

“You saw a completely different person, serene and relaxed. It was nice to see this change in him, it’s not easy after a long career. And he did it all while maintaining the same concentration.”

Chiellini joined LAFC last summer and won the MLS trophy in his first months in the United States.