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Juventus part ways with Giorgio Chiellini after a trophy-less season

MILAN – The last time Juventus ended the season without a trophy, AC Milan lifted the Serie A title and Inter Milan won the Italian Cup.

This year could see a repeat of 2011.

The two Milan clubs battle it out at the top of Serie A, with Inter two points behind their city rivals with two games to go.

Milan host Atalanta on Sunday just before Inter – buoyed by Wednesday’s Italian Cup win over Juventus – travel to relegation-threatened Cagliari.

Juventus, meanwhile, are preparing to welcome Lazio on Monday, knowing that a third-place finish is the best they can achieve and even that could be out of reach early in the game.

At least the team knows that Champions League qualification is already assured.

When Massimiliano Allegri returned as coach of Juventus in the off-season, he was set to restore glory after the team’s Serie A dominance ended in Andrea Pirlo’s only season in charge.

Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus
Giorgio Chiellini will part ways with Juventus.
AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Allegri had guided Juventus to five of their nine consecutive league titles – as well as four consecutive Italian Cup trophies – and also guided the Bianconeri to two Champions League finals.

However, Juventus will also end the season without a trophy and with the lowest number of points since 2011.

Pirlo has at least won the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup. Juventus also lost the Italian Super Cup to Inter in January.

“It’s clear something hasn’t gone right, but we’ve said that in the last few days and it’s improved, but honestly we’re still far from the strongest team that Inter is,” said Juventus -Captain Giorgio Chiellini after 4-2 final defeat on Wednesday. “This team is missing something that has been part of Juve for so many years and needs to be found again as soon as possible.”

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini will say goodbye to the Italy national team next month.
AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file

Chiellini is well-placed to speak out on the situation at Juventus, having been at the club since 2004 and having witnessed their relegation to Serie B following a match-fixing scandal as well as their return to dominance.

“There are cycles, that’s part of the game,” said the experienced defender. “I had two years to finish seventh when the previous cycle ended. A new one had to be born, it is part of life.

“We have to accept that, but we also have to be self-aware to have the extra energy we need for this restart. I think the coach is the best person to pass on that DNA. This club cannot accept ending next season again without trophies.”

However, Chiellini will not be there. The 37-year-old defender said the games against Lazio and at Fiorentina will be his last in the famous black and white kit, marking the end of almost 20 years of glorious association in which he has won 20 trophies.

The Inter Milan team celebrates after winning the Italian Cup soccer final match between Juventus Turin and Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, Wednesday May 11, 2022.
The Inter Milan team celebrate after winning the Italian Cup final between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, Wednesday May 11, 2022.
Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP

“We’ve had 10 great years and now it’s the boys turn to move on,” said Chiellini, who has played more than 550 games for Juventus. “I think I did everything I could have done. I hope to have left them something.”

Chiellini also helped Italy win the European title last year and will bid farewell to the national team next month.

“On Monday I’ll celebrate and say goodbye to my Juventus stadium against Lazio and then when I’m feeling good I’ll run in Florence too just to keep in shape for the national team,” said Chiellini. “But I will pass the baton to the youngsters.

“I think I left them something and I’m glad I’m still walking at such a high level. It’s been so many years now that I’ve said I don’t want to hobble to the finish, not play these games at my level… so I’m really leaving this club with joy, with serenity and soon I’ll be the biggest fan.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/12/juventus-parts-with-giorgio-chiellini-after-trophy-less-season/ Juventus part ways with Giorgio Chiellini after a trophy-less season

JOE HERNANDEZ

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