Giorgio Chiellini believes Mauro Icardi is the second striker in the penalty box, after teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Bianconeri centre-back played a perfect game against the Inter striker in last weeks Derby D’Italia and was full of praise for his opponent.

“In my opinion, Icardi is the second best striker in the penalty box who I’ve ever marked,” Chiellini told DAZN.

“He chips away at you mentally, in the sense that you have to be concentrated all the time. I’ve only encountered one who is worse for that, but he’s playing with me this year!”

“This seasons games? There are some, like that draw we had with Genoa. Those were definitely two points dropped, and with all due respect for Genoa we can’t afford to drop points to them at home.

“We’ve also been at 1-0 close to the end too many times. It’s almost always been fine because of our attitude, but against Manchester United we paid for it with interest.

“I’d say 1-0 is a perfect result up until about 60 minutes, then you need to get the second and manage things better.

“Not conceding gives you confidence for the next games, but having a little cushion means you expend less physical and mental energy.

“Football is evolving, and that’s good, It’s right to open up and learn new things, otherwise you’ll never improve. That said, it’d be nice to keep the Italian culture which allowed us to achieve great things.

“If I look back I think of Cannavaro,  Nesta, Baresi,  Maldini, then you can go back to Gentile and Scirea.

“In short the history of Italian football has been made by great defenders, certainly not only them but I hope that in the future we can have stories of more great victories, possibly achieved thanks to great defenders.

Attention turns to the Derby Della Mole this weekend against long standing city rivals Torino.

“Torino have improved a lot. They’re physical and they’re good on the counter-attack. With Mazzarri they’ve made an important upgrade, they can aim for Europe and they can certainly cause us problems.

“They’re a team I like, aside from the 180 minutes per season in which we’re rivals. Cristiano already knows that two games here aren’t like the others: Inter and Toro.

“Which captains would I like to emulate? Del Piero. I was lucky enough to play with Alex for a few years, he welcomed me to Turin when I was still young, only 21.

“In the first few months I felt almost inadequate because I was among so many champions, but his attitude, as well as Cannavaro and Buffon, was to make me feel at ease and part of the group, despite having a completely different life and interests.

“That’s something I’m trying to do now that I’m one of the older ones, with the lads who come in. Like with a kid like Cristiano!

“Then there’s Scirea. I was able to hear about him and be compared to him, not in terms of style of play but in the values he carried and to have the esteem of his family makes me so proud.

“I won’t pretend and I wouldn’t even try to reach the levels of someone like that, but I think he should be a source of inspiration for me and for future generations.

“The third is Gigi Buffon, a person with whom I have shared everything. So much, between training camps with Juve and the national team I saw him 300 days a year, which isn’t few.

“One thing I envy is that there will always be a couple of moments during a season when the captain must use the right words to bring the dressing room together.

“Gigi could do that, he could move people and really affect you inside. It’s an honour for me to have had him behind me so many times.”