In the last few years, great speculations have surrounded the future of Giorgio Chiellini.
When on the pitch, the great defender can still inspire his team towards victory with his confident and commanding displays. Nevertheless, injuries have taken their toll over his long and elusive career.
In 2019, the veteran suffered an ACL injury that threatened to end his days on the pitch. However, he managed to overcome it and make his return to the field.
Luckily for Chiellini, Euro 2020 was postponed for a year, which meant that the center back was all fit and healthy last summer. The captain led Italy towards an unforgettable triumph with a string of impeccable displays.
This great achievement opened his appetite for international success.
His next objective? Qatar 2022.
After all, Giorgio never enjoyed a memorable World Cup campaign. During his time with the Azzurri, he endured two forgettable group stage eliminations (2010 and 2014) while missing out completely in 2018.
Therefore, the Juventus legend decided to lick the wounds he earned from his infinite battles and sign a contract extension with the club.
Because the next World Cup is taking place in the middle of the campaign, Chiellini has to be active during the 2022/23 season in order to be fit for the occasion, which partially explains why he extended his deal until 2023.
However, the Italian national team is now facing a scenario that was implausible last summer. The Azzurri will have to earn their ticket through a tough playoff, otherwise, they will be watching the World Cup from home for the second edition in a row,
As for Juventus, the last scenario could bring another reason of concern for the club.
With no World Cup in sight, and with injury setbacks continuing to haunt him, perhaps Chiellini will decide to advance his retirement plans, and call it a day at the end of the current campaign. And who could blame him for it?
With Paulo Dybala leaving in the summer, the last thing we need is to bid farewell to our colossal captain.
So whether they support the Azzurri or not, Juventus fans might want to take interest in Italy’s next fixtures, because Chiellini’s career might be hanging in the balance.