Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli have never played together at club level, but the two Serie A professionals know each other well from days spent together in the Italian national team – which has now led to a battle of words via books and social media.
In Italy, Giorgio Chiellini is not only a seasoned international and a respectful, long-standing Juve professional (in Turin since 2004), but also a respected personality – which is also due, for example, to his master’s degree in business administration.
But now the 35-year-old central defender, who successfully recovered from a torn cruciate ligament shortly before the Corona crisis, has given out a decent performance. His target: Mario Balotelli (29), with whom the Juventus player has played in the Squadra Azzurra 22 times so far. The former international striker, who has been under contract with the Serie A promoted team in his native Brescia since this season, has received a lot of criticism.
“Balotelli is a negative person, he had no respect for the group“, said Chiellini in an interview with La Repubblica, with whom he also promoted his new book “Io, Giorgio”. “He deserved to be slapped. He’s someone who believes he’s one of the top five players in the world – I never believed he could even make it into the top 10 or top 20“. Strong words that generated a buzz that, unsurprisingly, made it straight to Balotelli.
And just as not surprisingly, the Italian “Enfant Terible” cannot resist a counterattacks. “At least I have the courage and sincerity to say something straight to someone’s face“, Balotelli has meanwhile said and added in an Instagram story: “You’ve had plenty of opportunities since 2013 to do that, to act like a real man. But you have not done it. Seeing how such a champion behaves, I prefer not to be one“.