Retiring Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has revealed that AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is his “best enemy” in football.

Both players are arguably the oldest active footballers in the Italian top flight this season.

Chiellini is 37, while the Swede has clocked 40, and they were previous teammates at Juventus.

They have maintained a fine reputation individually, and because they have spent so much time in Italy, there have been countless battles between them.

Speaking to Niccolini Palli State Institute of Higher Education in Livorno, as quoted by Calciomercato, Chiellini said: “My best enemy was Ibrahimovic. To make myself respected, as soon as I arrived in Turin I had to show that I was not afraid, I had and still have a very good relationship with him. 

“On the pitch we have never spared ourselves, but outside there has always been great esteem and I am happy that at 40 he is still able to have his say.”

Juve FC Says

Chiellini and Ibrahimovic have enjoyed unusually long careers in the game, and we might not see players who will play for this long again.

It remains unclear if the Azzurri defender will join another club, but we would welcome him back with open arms in a non-playing capacity after his playing career is finished.