“I regret not joining Arsenal” – Chiellini admits

Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini says he regrets turning down an opportunity to sign for Arsenal. The 36-year old defender reportedly had a chance to sign for the Gunners in 2001, but chose to remain with his boyhood club Livorno. However, 20 years later, Chiellini feels that turning down the opportunity was in fact a mistake on his part, which he now admits regretting.

The Italian international was 16 years old at the time that Arsene Wenger’s side came calling for his signature while he was playing in Serie C. According to him, he rejected the offer to move to the Premier League because he wanted to stay close to home. Chiellini would later join Juventus in 2005 and has since gone on to win 9 Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italia and 4 Italian Super Cups. Giorgio Chiellini during Juventus Coppa Italia semi final first leg win over Inter Milan

He said this during an interview with French football magazine So Foot, Chiellini says: “In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer. I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer.

“I didn’t feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno.” Chiellini said.

The defender has spent 16 seasons in Turin and has been instrumental to the Old Ladies success, forming a formidable partnership with fellow Azzuri legend, Leonardo Bonnucci. He came on as a second half substitute as Juve beat Inter Milan 2-1 in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi final tie.

Juventus are next in action on Tuesday evening when they entertain Roma in Serie A, before welcoming Inter Milan in the crucial 2nd leg with a place in the Coppa Italia final at stake.

You can follow those games and every other fixture using our livescore feature.