Giorgio Chiellini spills the beans in his autobiography, as the Juventus captain admits to ‘hating Inter’, while slamming ‘negative’ Mario Balotelli and ‘the worst of the worst’ Felipe Melo.
The defender will release his book, ‘Io, Giorgio’, next week with the profits going to charity and he presented the tome in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper.
“I was really let down by two players and I confirm everything I wrote in the book. Balotelli is a negative person, with no respect for the group. During the Confederations Cup against Brazil in 2013, he didn’t lend a helping hand for anything, he really did deserve a slap.
“Some people thought he was among the top five strikers in the world, but I never even considered him in the top 10 or 20.
“However, there was someone worse, Felipe Melo: really the worst of the worst,” continued Chiellini.
“I cannot abide people who lack respect, those who always want to be contrarians. With him around, it was permanently likely to break out into a brawl. I told the directors that, too: he is a bad apple.”
Will this confession make it awkward when next facing Brescia forward Balotelli?
“I hold no ill-will, nor do I have any need for it. If I need to share something with these players, I will do so. I am not everyone’s best friend, but they are the only two who went beyond all acceptable limits.
“As far as I am concerned, the problem is not if you play badly or have a few nights out, but if you show a lack of respect and have nothing inside of you. Once can happen, but not if it’s a recurring theme.”
Chiellini writes in the book that he ‘hates Inter,’ but clarifies the thought in much the same way Marco Materazzi did when saying the same about Juventus last week.
“I think people understand what I mean and I don’t wish to be misinterpreted. I hate Inter in a sporting way just as Michael Jordan hates the Pistons. I can’t help but hate Inter, but 99.9 per cent of the time that I met up with players off the field after we tore each other to shreds on it, we can have a good laugh.
“In fact, when I injured my knee last year, the message that gave me the most pleasure was from Javier Zanetti. Sporting hatred is what pushes you on to beat a rival and, if given the right meaning, is an essential component of sport.”