Chiellini: Conte changed Juve's vision of football

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

Giorgio Chiellini credited Antonio Conte for changing Juventus' vision of football, which enabled them to dominate Italian football for much of the past decade.

Current Tottenham head coach Conte was placed in charge of the Bianconeri in 2011, following a successful career in Turin that saw captain the Juve team that lifted the 1995-96 Champions League.

The Italian boss also lifted the Serie A title five times during his playing days, and had no struggles carrying that winning mentality into management.

Conte guided Juve to their 28th Scudetto in his first season in charge, during the 2011-12 campaign, before defending the title for two straight terms - also setting the Serie A points record with 102 in 2013-14.

Veteran Chiellini is the only Juve player that played a part in all nine Scudetto triumphs between 2011 and 2019, and he believes Conte should take the credit for the Bianconeri's prolonged success.

"Conte was the first one to change, he changed our vision of football," he told Amazon Prime Video in an interview with former team-mate Claudio Marchisio.

"Before he came here I'd never thought about building from the back or making a through pass.

"Some teams tend to do that more and I think that balance is needed but in modern football, you must have control of the game and the ball. It's more and more important and it's crucial to be complete."

 

Chiellini remains a feature in Massimiliano Allegri's current Juve side, who host Villarreal in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday.

Allegri's men are also just seven points adrift of leaders Inter in Serie A, and Chiellini is glad to see Juve turn their form around after an underwhelming start to this season.

"He is still the same, he hasn't changed," Chiellini said about Allegri. "Perhaps, he expected to find a group similar to the one he had left.

"We had changed a lot, many players left, we are younger. From November we've seen his Juventus. A solid team with their own identity.

"Dusan Vlahovic has brought enthusiasm to everyone, players, staff and fans. He shifts the balance, we missed a player with his characteristics.

"We hadn't had a centre forward like that since Mario Mandzukic's time. We had [Gonzalo] Higuain who was a fantastic player, but was slightly different.

"We had to adapt other strikers to that role. Alvaro [Morata] prefers playing with another striker and the same is true of Paulo [Dybala] and Cristiano [Ronaldo]. Now we have a new No.9 even if he has the No.7 on his shoulder. He wants to improve and become the No.1."

The 37-year-old Chiellini played an integral role in Italy's Euro 2020 success as he showed no signs of slowing up, and he hopes to make it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before hanging up his boots.

"I've already gone beyond what I thought, especially after my knee injury [in 2020]," he continued. 

"I could have finished last season but I wanted to continue and I live day by day. I dream of the World Cup and hopefully, we can qualify and enjoy it, then we'll see.

"I want to end my career in a decent way. This [Juventus] is my home and I don't want to become a burden.

"On paper, I'd like to become a director rather than a coach, but football is full of surprises and I'll understand with time."

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