Despite taking a little more time than initially intended, Giorgio Chiellini’s renewal was never truly a topic of concern amongst Juventus fans.
The captain earned his status as club symbol throughout sheer passion, determination and hard work, and he also became a national hero for his colossal displays at Euro 2020.
The center back returned from an injury earlier in the tournament to lead the Azzurri’s triumphant campaign alongside his longtime teammate, Leonardo Bonucci.
Upon returning from his summer vacation, the first order of business for the 36-year-old was the signing of his new contract.
Chiellini officially put his signature on a deal that would keep him in Turin for two more seasons, meaning that it will extend his Juventus career to 19 years.
“Best not to think about that, it’ll make me feel even older!” he laughed on Juventus TV as translated by Football Italia.
“I am happy, even if it seems like a formality, these are important steps in life. I arrived here barely an adult and now I’m part of the family, a mature person who is enjoying every moment of the last years.
“I really hope that I can give my contribution and help this team to win more titles, which as we know here is the most important thing.
“In the end the signing was a formality, because as soon as I knew that my body would allow me to continue playing, there was always the will of both parties to continue together. It was just the timing of various situations that delayed this signing.
“The very close relationship between myself and Juventus goes beyond everything else. I had absolutely no doubts that I would remain here.”
The defender will find a familiar face upon his return to the squad, in the form of Max Allegri, who previously led the club between 2014 and 2019.
“We did cross paths and had a good joke, as we are both from Livorno. I am happy to see him again, he gave me and everyone a great deal. I kept in contact with the lads, they told me he’s really fired up for the start of the season and I’m convinced he is the right man to take this team back to the top and create a new cycle.
“I am here to give my contribution, above all on the field, but off it too.
“There is great satisfaction and I believe at a certain age you can enjoy these beautiful moments even more. You realise just how much they mean and how difficult they are.
“I think that carefree, joyful, happy way of playing that Italy had at the Euros was a fundamental ingredient that we must carry on into this Juventus side. It’s fundamental to create that atmosphere of it being a pleasure to spend time together, that was one of the secrets of our Italy success.
“The World Cup is just over a year away, so we’ll see. I always want to enjoy every moment and to think of the present. If I am fortunate enough to be in good shape and able to participate in the World Cup, then I’ll be happy. If I don’t, then I’ll be happy anyway.
“I’ve learned over the last few years that the only secret is to live in the moment and without thinking of faraway objectives.
“Now we need to get the engine going again after these few weeks when I needed time to recover, then we’ll take it one week at a time, game by game, and see where we end up.” concluded the Bianconeri captain.