Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini will retire from international football in June – final game will be at Wembley against Lionel Messi’s Argentina after World Cup 2022 failure

    Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini will retire from international football in June, with his final game set to come at Wembley.

    The Azzurri’s failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Qatar is likely to have played a big part in the 37-year-old Juventus defender’s decision.

    Chiellini will go down as one of his country’s greatest ever players

    getty

    Chiellini will go down as one of his country’s greatest ever players

    But their World Cup qualifying elimination to North Macedonia means he has called time on his illustrious international career

    getty

    But their World Cup qualifying elimination to North Macedonia means he has called time on his illustrious international career

    And his last cap for his nation will be their Finalissima clash against Argentina in London in June as the European champions face the Copa America winners.

    After 116 games for his country, his final outing will come against Lionel Messi and co at the same place he captained the Italians to European Championship success against England last July.

    “I’ll say goodbye to the national team at Wembley, which is where I experienced the pinnacle of my career winning the Euros,” Chiellini told DAZN after Juventus’ 2-1 win at Sassuolo in Serie A on Monday.

    “I’d like to say goodbye to the Azzurri with a nice memory. That will certainly be my last game with Italy.”

    Chiellini is joint fifth in the all-time Italy charts alongside Andrea Pirlo, with only Daniele De Rossi, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro, and Gianluigi Buffon ahead of him.

    The dogged defender also played in the first official game at the new Wembley Stadium as Italy’s Under-21s drew 3-3 with England.

    The defender has certainly been involved in some memorable moments when playing for Italy…

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    The defender has certainly been involved in some memorable moments when playing for Italy…

    The veteran centre-back, who came on as a substitute for his club side on Monday, has not decided whether to prolong his club career beyond this season, however.

    “My love affair with Juventus is not ending, it will never end,” he added. “Of course, from now to the end of the season I do have to evaluate everything, talk to my family about what is best.

    “Let’s reach fourth place (in Serie A) first and win the Coppa Italia, then we’ll sit down with my two families – at home and Juventus – to figure out what is best for everyone.

    “It was the same last summer, I took time and didn’t sign the new contract until after the Euros. At my age, you can’t look too far into the long-term, but that’s only natural, it’s all fine.”

    Juve are fourth, eight points clear of fifth-placed AS Roma, with four matches remaining in the race for a Champions League spot. They face Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final on May 11.

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