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Chiellini confirms Juve departure after Coppa Italia final defeat

Serie A

Chiellini confirms Juve departure after Coppa Italia final defeat


Giorgio Chiellini confirmed he would leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

He could not claim a 21st as Inter prevailed in a thrilling showpiece at the Stadio Olimpico.

Juve appeared set to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when second-half goals from Alex Sandro, aided by Alvaro Morata, and Dusan Vlahovic gave them a 2-1 lead, turning things around Nicolo Barella’s stunning 10th-minute opener put Inter in front.

There was a late twist, though, as Hakan Calhanoglu netted from the spot to send the game to extra-time, in which Ivan Perisic also converted from 12 yards and then sealed victory with a sumptuous half-volley.

Having previously refused to reveal his plans, Chiellini – who is reported to have offers from MLS – said:

“We had these ten magnificent years. It’s up to the lads to continue now.

“I did everything I could. I hope that I have left something. On Monday, I will say goodbye to my Juventus Stadium, then if I’ve still got something in the tank might have a run-out in Florence [against Fiorentina].

“It is my choice 100 per cent. I am happy to leave at such a high level.

Because for many years, I’ve said I didn’t want to finish struggling and not being able to play at my level.

“I gave it my all. Soon I will be the biggest Juventus fan from the outside. You cannot shake it off after so many years within this club.”

Defeat means Juve will finish the season without a trophy for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

“It’s disappointing, especially as Inter certainly had more of the ball, but we had more than enough chances,” added Chiellini.

“Mattia Perin didn’t have to make a save. But, unfortunately, we conceded two fantastic goals and two penalties.

“Inter proved that they are more robust in all the head-to-head clashes throughout the season, so that means something. I hope the anger of losing three out of four games against Inter will fire us up for next season.

“We know that you don’t win a Scudetto just in the big games, but every day. Of course, it’s a pity to end the season without trophies after a decade, but we need to use it as fuel for next season.”

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