Giorgio Chiellini has joked how he was a Milan fan and idolised Paolo Maldini, but “I became smarter. Now it’s difficult to find a bigger Juventus fan than me.”
Chiellini was speaking to Juve’s Junior Members at the Allianz Stadium on Monday afternoon, where he fielded questions about his career.
Asked about his toughest opponent, he replied: “Apart from Ronaldo and Messi, who are two extra-terrestrials, I always say Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He had physical strength, technique, personality… I had the fortune to play with him and against him.”
The veteran is a Bianconeri icon, having stuck with the club for the last 15 years, but he confessed he was initially a Milan supporter.
“I was a Milan fan, unfortunately, then I got better. I became smarter growing up. Maldini was my favourite player.
“I have a twin brother, he was a Juve fan and I had to go against him and be Milan. Can you imagine how happy he was when Juve bought me when I was 20 years old?
“When I moved here I immediately fell in love with the club, and now I think it’s difficult to find a bigger Juve fan on this earth than me.”
A master of the art of defending, Chiellini shared some of his secrets to the youngsters.
“You must find pleasure in stopping a move. The emotions that others find in scoring, you have to feel the same in stopping them.
“If you find those emotions, you can become a great defender.”
The Old Lady captain concluded by naming the two games he would never forget.
“My first match because it will always be my first. It was against Messina and we won 3-0 [in October 2005].
“The other was that night in Trieste [against Cagliari], the first in our run [of Scudetti]. It was a night of strong emotions, which will always stay with me.”