Massimiliano Allegri hailed the "heavy legacy" Giorgio Chiellini will leave as the Juventus head coach suggested the centre-back and Paulo Dybala will feature at Fiorentina.

Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juve at the end of the season and was substituted in his final home appearance in the 17th minute on Monday to honour his 17-year spell with the Bianconeri.

The Italy veteran handed the captain's armband to Dybala as he made his way off the pitch, with the forward also heading for the exit door when his contract expires in June.

Dybala, who has 115 goals for the Bianconeri, will leave as the third-highest non-Italian scorer in Juve's history in all competitions, behind only David Trezeguet (171) and John Hansen (124).

Monday's draw with Lazio was expected to be the pair's last appearance for Juve, but Allegri suggested the duo could yet feature in Florence on Saturday, while Weston McKennie might return from injury.

"A good match against a team that has the objective of hitting Europe," he said as he previewed the Fiorentina game on JuventusTV. "We will find a warm environment and we have to have fun.

"Tomorrow I think it will be an open game with many goals. Then usually in the final season in these games there are many goals.

"We will all go to Florence apart from Danilo, [Federico] Chiesa and [Mattia] De Sciglio. Then the others are all available. [Weston] McKennie comes back and maybe he will play a piece of the game."

On Chiellini's departure, Allegri added: "He leaves a heavy legacy because in any case he was an extraordinary player and he still is because he plays tomorrow.

"Also on a moral level he will have left excellent lessons to the players who remain in the locker room."

Juve will end this season with 73 points if they defeat Fiorentina, their worst total in a Serie A campaign since 2010-11 (58).

Allegri is aware that improvements are needed for next season to compete in the Champions League and with the likes of Milan and Inter, who are still vying for the title.

"They are the ones that must have a team that aims to win and that fights for all the goals for which it participates," he said of his team.

"We definitely need to improve this year's season. It's true, but also that we have a good base to start from."

Paul Pogba lauded Paulo Dybala after the forward played his final home game for Juventus, and possibly hinted at a link-up with the Argentine.

Dybala is leaving Juve at the end of the season, with the 28-year-old having failed to agree a new contract.

He has been linked with a move to fellow Serie A giants Inter and made his final home appearance for Juve in a 2-2 draw with Lazio on Monday.

Pogba, meanwhile, is set to leave Manchester United on a free transfer, six years after he re-joined the Premier League club from Juve.

The France midfielder has reportedly been lined up as an option for Juve, with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid having also been suggested as possible destinations.

However, in a congratulatory tweet to Dybala, Pogba suggested a reunion with his former team-mate may well be on the cards.

"Hermano, you're a top player and a top man! It's great to have you as a friend and to have shared moments with you at Juventus," Pogba tweeted, tagging in Dybala. "Hope to see you soon."

Dybala is not the only player who is leaving Juve, with stalwart Giorgio Chiellini also departing.

Chiellini, 37, joined Juve in 2004 and has helped the Bianconeri to nine Serie A titles and five Coppa Italia triumphs, as well as having reached two Champions League finals, and Pogba also hailed the Italy defender.

He tweeted: "What a fantastic career @chiellini! Feel privileged to have shared the pitch with you, a phenomenal player and an even better person #THEGR3ATCHIELLO."

 

Massimiliano Allegri paid tribute to departing heroes Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, whose Turin farewells ended in a 2-2 draw against Lazio.

The first half was a celebration, as Dusan Vlahovic put the hosts up 1-0 just 10 minutes in before Alvaro Morata doubled the advantage after 36 minutes.

An Alex Sandro own goal set up a tense finish, though, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser to put a slight dampener on an emotional evening at the Allianz Stadium.

Despite seeing his side held at home, Allegri only wanted to focus the impact of Chiellini and Dybala to the Bianconeri.

"Tonight was a wonderful evening, full of emotions – the evening of Chiellini and Dybala," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"One stops and has given a lot to world football, out of passion and love of work. A few videos of Chiellini should be sent to Coverciano [Italy's main youth training centre] to show how he defends.

"On a personal and human level, he also left a lot to me when I arrived at Juventus. He introduced me to Juventus and helped me. 

"Dybala was an important player for seven years, I raised him because he was a child and the fans gave a well-deserved tribute. All with great class.

"He has grown a lot, he arrived as a kid, he won the job. He has done great things and I wish him the best. There was so much emotion that I think talking about something else has little value."

Touching on the future of the club, Allegri pointed to some exciting internal development, as well as his theory on what is required at different stages of the season.

"The ideas are clear, then the market can develop in various ways," he said.

"We have to start from the base this year – many will improve like Vlahovic and [Denis] Zakaria. 

"[Fabio] Miretti played with personality and vertically, which drives me crazy. Morata played a good game, the good foundations are there. 

"The matches up to October travel at certain rhythms, from October to March to others. As a child I used to say that when the daisies bloom, the rhythms drop and you need players of great technique. 

"The players must be chosen when they go fast, then to win they must be fast and with great technique."

Giorgio Chiellini asserted it was the right time to end his Juventus career after making his final home appearance for the club, revealing Italy's failure to reach the Qatar World Cup influenced his decision.

Chiellini played the first 17 minutes of a Serie A clash with Lazio on Monday, in which Juve threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.

First-half goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata looked set to ensure the Bianconeri marked the Allianz Stadium swansong of Chiellini – and Paulo Dybala – with a win, only for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to equalise with the final kick of the game after Alex Sandro put through his own net.

The 37-year-old defender, who has won 20 trophies during his incredible career with the Turin giants, has made 392 top-flight appearances for the club, a tally bettered only by Gianluigi Buffon (489) and Alessandro Del Piero (467).

With Juventus guaranteed to finish fourth in Serie A after enduring a frustrating season, which also saw them lose the Coppa Italia final to Inter, Chiellini said the time had come for the Bianconeri's young players to take centre stage.

"The decision came in months, weeks, not days," he told Sky Sports Italia. "I have always said that I would like to leave at a high level, and I succeeded. 

"It was a difficult year, for Juventus and for me, but in the matches I managed, I played at my level. 

"All this led me to leave now, to leave room for young people. Juve need to restart, and young people have to take responsibility and mature. I helped to clip some people's wings, now it's right for them to fly alone. 

"I will cheer for them from near or far, and I made this decision with joy and serenity."

The legendary Chiellini has made 25 appearances for Juventus in all competitions this season, 17 of them starts.

Chiellini will end his Italy career after facing Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1, having won 116 caps to date during a glittering career with the Azzurri.

Having helped Italy to Euro 2020 glory last year, he revealed March's shock World Cup qualification play-off defeat to North Macedonia had influenced his desire to step away from both Serie A and international football.

"Of course, I wanted to get to the World Cup. It was the obsession I had after the European Championship," he added. "It is inevitable that I cannot play every match, but I wanted to be part of the national group. 

"It didn't go the way we wanted, which accelerated my choice. [But] I leave a national team and a Juve in good hands."

Chiellini is not planning on retiring, however, and has been linked with a potential move to Major League Soccer.

Although he said he had not yet made a final decision regarding his future, Chiellini hinted that a move abroad would interest him. 

"I don't know. It has attracted me, but for 10 years, I have to decide at home," he added. 

"An experience abroad enriches you, I think I need to see a little outside my life and Juve. I have to understand together with the family, I have to take a look outside, also for my future."

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser as Lazio came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with Juventus in Turin.

In a match where Juventus paid tribute to departing stars Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, first-half goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata seemed to have put the Bianconeri in control.

But after Alex Sandro's own goal halved the arrears, Maurizio Sarri's return to the Allianz Stadium ended in chaotic fashion when Milinkovic-Savic fired into the roof of the net with the last kick of the game.

As well as spoiling the farewell home appearances of Chiellini and Dybala, the result boosted Lazio's hopes of beating local rivals Roma to a fifth-place finish in Serie A.

Juventus star Leonardo Bonucci has expressed his admiration for outgoing Bianconeri and Italy team-mate Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini confirmed after the 4-2 Coppa Italia final loss to Inter in midweek that this season will be his last for Juve, who the 37-year-old has played for since 2004 and won 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

The veteran defender has already announced he will retire from international duty with Italy as well after a meeting with Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

It will be a fitting end for Chiellini after he lifted the Euro 2020 title at Wembley following a penalty shoot-out victory over England last July alongside long-time team-mate Bonucci.

Reports in Italy suggest Chiellini may opt to play in MLS before taking his vast experience into management or a coaching role.

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed Bonucci will take the captain's armband at Juve for the next campaign, and the centre-back was quick to heap praise on his colleague Chiellini.

The defensive duo won eight Serie A titles together and claimed the Coppa Italia five times, while they also helped Juve reach the Champions League final in 2015 and 2017.

Bonucci posted on Instagram: "Dear Giorgio, where to start?

"I think it has to be from the end. Today is your day and the day the team, these colours, this dressing room starts to miss you. You have been an example, a guidance, a brother, a friend.

"We have shared more than 10 years together, we have rejoiced, we have suffered, we have worked hard, we have closed ranks together, we have fought, we have WON.

"Won a lot with Juve, won something unique with Italy. Being on the pitch alongside you, for me, has been a privilege, an honour. Off the pitch even more so. I have learned from you to be ready for anything.

"Best of luck to you, legend, for what's to come. Whatever it is, you will always do it as the top of the class.

"The invisible piece of rope which followed us onto the pitch will keep us tied together forever in my football battles, in the victories and in the more difficult moments.

"Thank you, captain. I love you."

A clash with Lazio at the Allianz Stadium on Monday will be Chiellini's final home appearance for the Old Lady.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has declared Giorgio Chiellini's decision to leave Juventus and retire from international football as a "pity for everyone".

Juve great Chiellini confirmed after the 4-2 Coppa Italia final loss to Inter last week that he will depart Turin at the end of the season, ending a 17-year spell with the Bianconeri that has seen him lift 20 trophies.

The centre-back has also already revealed he will retire from international duty with Italy after the Azzurri play Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

Chiellini opted to play in the Finalissima, a new final pitting the winners of the Copa America and European Championship against each other, as a fitting conclusion after Italy lifted Euro 2020 at Wembley in July.

Reports suggest 37-year-old Chiellini may accept an offer to play in MLS before taking his sizeable experience into management or a coaching role.

Mancini, speaking at the Prisco Prize in Chieti where he received a Special Jury Prize, was quick to heap praise on the veteran Chiellini as he reflected on the influence he has had on Italian football.

"It is a pity for everyone because he was a great player for the national team and for Juve," Mancini said, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

"Unfortunately, time passes for everyone. He made this decision but leaving after winning the European Championship in a race like the one at Wembley is still important."

Napoli talisman Lorenzo Insigne has also announced he will leave Serie A to move to Toronto FC at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old scored on his final home appearance for Napoli on Sunday, becoming the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history as he moved clear of Marek Hamsik's tally of 121.

Only team-mate Dries Mertens, with 148, has managed more goals for Napoli, and Mancini spoke glowingly of Insigne after his efforts in Naples and with the national side.

"He will go on to have an important experience anyway. He gave a lot to the national team and I hope he can do it again," the Azzurri boss added.

With those two experienced campaigners leaving Serie A, Mancini believes it is time for the Italian top flight to provide more young talent to fill the void Chiellini and Insigne will leave.

Mancini and the Italian system came into criticism for not trusting younger players after Italy failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup following play-off defeat to North Macedonia in late March.

"The important thing when things didn't go well is to get up," he continued. "We will have games in the summer and then the Nations League restarts. 

"There are several interesting youngsters in the championship but we would like more."

Leonardo Bonucci will be the new captain of Juventus following the announced departure of Giorgio Chiellini, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The Bianconeri head coach was speaking ahead of Juve's final home game of the season against Lazio and said he wants to "combine all three things", referring to playing well while saying goodbye to outgoing duo Chiellini and Paulo Dybala.

Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

Dybala is also exiting the Allianz Stadium at the end of the campaign and has been linked with the likes of Inter, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United.

"It's the last home game, you have to honour it to the fullest. And then it's Giorgio Chiellini's party and Paulo Dybala's last [game], we have to combine all three things," Allegri told reporters at a media conference on Sunday.

"They are two different things. Giorgio stops or has an experience in America, I don't know. Paulo changes team. Both will have the tribute of the fans, as I believe will [Lazio boss, Maurizio] Sarri, who returns and was the last [head coach] to win the Scudetto with Juve."

As for Juve's next skipper, Allegri added: "The new Juventus captain will be Bonucci."

The former Milan boss was also asked about Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a return to Juve once his contract at Manchester United expires next month.

"Pogba is a United player. Before talking about the transfer market, let's finish the season and then we'll take stock with the club," he said. "We don't have to evaluate not only the market but also what happened during the season at 360 degrees.

"[Do I] remember Paul? I have already forgotten, several years have already passed. I have a full memory card."

Allegri was asked to summarise the season, with Juve qualifying for the Champions League but never really challenging in the Serie A title race.

"I'm satisfied with the path and the goal, but not satisfied to have not won a trophy," he said.

"The team has done its best. Even if I always say, 'let's play with those who are here', in the long run we have paid for traumatic injuries: [Federico] Chiesa, [Weston] McKennie, Danilo, Bonucci… We have players who will certainly grow, then with the club we will improve the shortcomings of this team."

Giorgio Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

He was unable to claim a 21st as Inter prevailed in a thrilling showpiece at the Stadio Olimpico.

Juve appeared set to salvage silverware from a disappointing season when second-half goals from Alex Sandro, aided by Alvaro Morata, and Dusan Vlahovic gave them a 2-1 lead, turning things around after Nicolo Barella's stunning 10th-minute opener put Inter in front.

There was a late twist, though, as Hakan Calhanoglu netted from the spot to send the game to extra-time, in which Ivan Perisic also converted from 12 yards and then sealed victory with a sumptuous half-volley.

Having previously refused to reveal his future plans, Chiellini - who is reported to have offers from MLS - said: "We had these 10 magnificent years, it's up to the lads to continue now.

"I did everything I could, I hope that I left something. On Monday I will say goodbye to my Juventus Stadium, then if I've still got something in the tank might have a run-out in Florence [against Fiorentina].

"It is my choice 100 per cent, I am happy to leave at such a high level, because for many years I've said I didn't want to finish struggling and not being able to play at my level.

"I gave it my all, soon I will be the biggest Juventus fan from the outside. After so many years within this club, you cannot shake it off."

Defeat means Juve will finish the season without a trophy for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

"It’s disappointing, especially as Inter certainly had more of the ball, but we had more than enough chances," added Chiellini. 

"Mattia Perin basically didn't have to make a save, we conceded two fantastic goals and two penalties.

"Inter proved throughout the season they are stronger in all the head-to-head clashes, so that means something. I hope the anger of losing three out of four games against Inter will fire us up for next season.

"We know that you don't win a Scudetto just in the big games, but every day. It's a pity to end the season without trophies after a decade, but we need to use it as fuel for next season."

In the context of a generally disappointing season for Juventus, securing one last trophy for a club great before he begins a new chapter would've at least provided one reason to look back on 2021-22 with a degree of positivity.

It remains to be seen exactly what happens next for Giorgio Chiellini. After all, he suggested on Tuesday that he might not have even been playing football at all this season were it not for Italy's Euro 2020 success.

But remaining at Juventus has become increasingly unlikely over the past few weeks, with a move to MLS – rather than retirement – strongly mooted despite him being contracted to Juve until next June.

In Tuesday's pre-match news conference ahead of the Coppa Italia final, Chiellini – perhaps as you'd expect – at least attempted to deflect the focus from himself, seemingly adamant he didn't want to be the big story ahead of the game.

Yet, regardless of his obvious deflection the day before, it will have been tricky for many to not look at Wednesday's showpiece as the last meaningful match of Chiellini's storied career for the Bianconeri, with little riding on Juve's final Serie A matches of the campaign.

Twenty trophies, 559 appearances – third only to Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero – and countless head injuries, Chiellini's laid everything on the line and dedicated the majority of his career to Juve, even when the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid apparently came calling

But that one last trophy was a dream too far, with Inter ending their 11-year wait for a Coppa Italia triumph by emerging 4-2 victors after extra time.

As far as small mercies go, Chiellini could at least take solace in the fact he at no point looked out of place on the big stage.

Nevertheless, as good a defender as he's been down the years, there wasn't much Juve's captain could've done to prevent his side falling behind in a frantic first half at the Stadio Olimpico.

Nicolo Barella received the short corner and the run of Ivan Perisic created space for him to unleash a sumptuous curling effort into the top-far corner, the ball floating well out of the reach of Chiellini's not insignificant head.

But Inter became strangely negative after getting themselves in front, with Juve crafting several presentable chances as they became the controlling force – Chiellini found himself involved further up as a result as well, a comical fish-out-of-water-like run into the final third leading to a foul by Edin Dzeko.

Juve's superiority told early in the second half as a period of concerted pressure led to the ball dropping kindly for Alex Sandro, whose first-time strike found its way in via a deflection off Alvaro Morata.

Inter barely had enough time to look at the scoreboard before they found themselves trailing, as Juve sprung a brilliant counter and Dusan Vlahovic found the net at the second time of asking.

The game soon entered the realm of Chiellini, whose seven clearances at the end of the 90 minutes was a match high.

Within moments of Juve's second goal, the 37-year-old crucially blocked a cross that Dzeko was primed to tap home – true to form as a full-blooded centre-back, he celebrated his clearance as if he'd scored.

Soon after he was on hand again with a vital header, but like with the opener, he could only watch on as Inter levelled in the 80th minute. Chiellini's centre-back partners Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci tangled with Lautaro Martinez, who appeared to invite contact and then hook his foot around the latter's leg before tumbling.

It was as ingenious as the ultimate VAR-confirmed penalty decision was farcical, but Hakan Calhanoglu converted the spot-kick and Chiellini's night was soon over.

Soon after an important interception/clearance ahead of the lurking Martinez, Chiellini made way, perhaps owing to the knock received in that collision with the Inter striker.

Even at that point there was almost a sense of foreboding. While perhaps not a decisive presence at the other end, Juve were suddenly without their most experienced player and leader – the personality in the side dropped considerably in that one change.

It was fitting that De Ligt – a player who has flattered to deceive since essentially being brought in as Chiellini's long-term successor – proved to be the one to gift Inter the lead in extra-time, clumsily tripping Stefan de Vrij and allowing Ivan Perisic to rifle home the penalty, with the Croatian's spectacular second soon after signalling Juve fans to head for the exits.

As Inter players joyously made their way to the Nerazzurri end of the stadium at full-time, a dignified Chiellini trudged onto the pitch and shared a speechless embrace with Massimiliano Allegri.

While Chiellini helped Juve to more success than most players enjoy in a lifetime, when it came to giving him a fitting send-off, the Bianconeri failed him.

Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon expressed his hopes that Giorgio Chiellini can end his Bianconeri career on a high note by defeating Inter in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.

Massimiliano Allegri's Juve will look to defend their Coppa Italia crown at the Stadio Olimpico and become the fifth team in Europe's top five leagues to win their respective domestic cup at least 15 times.

The clash with Simone Inzaghi's Inter – who have won their last two games against Juve, as many wins as in the previous 13 (D4, L7) – could prove to be Chiellini's final swansong.

The veteran centre-back is widely expected to leave Turin at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to the MLS before using his vast experience to go into management.

Former team-mate Buffon marked his 685th and final appearance for Juve with victory over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final last season, and the goalkeeper hopes Chiellini can follow suit.

"Chiello was my rock," Parma man Buffon told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport

"He was, and still is, a friend I shared a good chunk of my life with. Far more than a player or simply a team-mate. We understood each other perfectly, we were aware of our strengths and limitations.

"Chiello is so demanding with himself and others, he is an example of where intelligence, hard work, dedication and passion can let you reach unthinkable heights.

"He will admit, he was not the most technically gifted player, but I cannot think of a better defender over the last 10 years.

"I hope he can leave Juve the way I did by lifting the Coppa Italia trophy."

Another ex-Juve colleague Andrea Barzagli added that the Bianconeri will be significantly weakened without Chiellini to call upon.

"Even off the pitch, Chiellini gives a sense of belonging to Juve," Barzagli said.

"Looking at him, you understand what winning teams are made of; you need to be a great person before being a great player. He is one of the greatest defenders in the history of the club.

"He is a complete defender. If this is the end for him at Juve, then the team will miss his leadership."

Should Juve succeed against Inter, Allegri will become the first manager in Coppa Italia history to win the trophy five times, surpassing Sven-Goran Eriksson and Roberto Mancini (both four).

Giorgio Chiellini is plotting a career in management after the Juventus and Italy captain's playing days come to an end.

Chiellini will retire from international football after the Azzurri's Finalissima showdown with Argentina at Wembley next month.

The 37-year-old centre-back's future has been the subject of speculation, as his Juve contract is due to expire at the end of next season.

Chiellini has been linked with a move to the MLS before hanging up his boots.

The veteran defender plans to use his vast experience to forge a career in management, but will not take up a role until he is ready.

He told La Stampa: "As long as you are a footballer, you are focused only on that. And until today in my head I have always been a 100 per cent footballer, when you do this job it can only be like that. 

"Certainly in the future I would like to have a managerial path, in which to enhance the wealth of experience I have gained over the years and make it available in a new context."

He added: “I would like to take care of what surrounds the pitch, but it goes beyond that, but first I would have a lot to study. I know the sport well, but it is not enough to do well as a manager. 

"About Continassa [the Juventus training complex] I know everything, even where there are cobwebs, but what happens in the office I have a superficial idea. 

"The experience I'm having with Sport Horizon helps me, but you can't improvise it."

Giorgio Chiellini says his "love affair" with Juventus will never come to an end, but admits he is unsure on his next steps after confirming his international retirement.

The Italy captain announced that June's Finalissima encounter with Argentina at Wembley will be his last game for the Azzurri, a year on from success at Euro 2020.

The veteran centre-back oversaw a second successive failure by the national team to qualify for the World Cup earlier this year, ensuring their absence at Qatar 2022.

While his future on the global stage will come to a close, Chiellini says he will take time to consider his club career – but added he will always carry a torch for the Bianconeri.

"My love affair with Juventus is not ending," he stated after Juventus' win over Sassuolo on Monday in Serie A. "It will never end.

"The love is so strong that as far as I am concerned, but also I think it will never end.

"Of course, from now to the end of the season I do have to evaluate everything, talk to my family about what is best.

"Let’s reach fourth place first and win the Coppa Italia, then we’ll sit down with my two families – at home and Juventus – to figure out what is best for everyone.

"It was the same last summer. I took time and didn’t sign the new contract until after the Euros. At my age, you can’t look too far into the long-term, but that’s only natural, it’s all fine.

"I hope you can see that I am happy, relaxed and want to keep enjoying myself with my team-mates, then we'll see."

Since joining the Bianconeri in 2004, Chiellini has established himself as a central figure in Italian football, and helped the club to nine successive Scudetto titles between 2011 and 2020.

But it will likely be his efforts at Euro 2020 last year, when he steered Italy to a penalty shoot-out triumph over England at Wembley, that will stand as his defining achievement.

The joint-fourth most-capped player in Azzurri history, Chiellini added that he hopes to be available for the game with South American champions Argentina – and that it will be a fitting occasion for his farewell.

"If I'm fine, I'll play and say goodbye to the national team at Wembley, where I reached the peak of my career," he added.

"It would be great to say goodbye to the Azzurri shirt with a celebratory match like the one with Argentina. For the national team, it will be the last time."

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini intends to continue enjoying his football and will evaluate his future soon amid ongoing speculation over a contract renewal or a departure.

The Italy veteran has appeared 16 times for Juve in Serie A this season in a campaign that has been hampered by injuries and COVID-19.

Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs De Ligt have taken up the mantle at the heart of defence in his absence, with Massimilano Alllegri's side fourth in the league, six points behind leaders Milan.

Chiellini's contract is set to expire at the end of the next season, leading to questions about retirement or a potential exit from Turin.

Reports in Italy suggest the option of an MLS move may be on the cards, but for the meantime, Chiellini is focused on this season with Juve.

"I'm happy, serene, I have to understand and evaluate many things," Chiellini, who has played for Juve since 2004, said on Monday. 

"In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the matches I play."

The centre-back's agent, Davide Lippi, son of Italy’s World Cup-winning coach Marcello, echoed Chiellini's sentiments when speaking to Sky Sport Italia.

"It's still early to talk about it," he said of a renewal for Chiellini. "It is too early to talk about his future, he is very focused on Juventus and is only thinking of closing the season in the best possible way."

As for a move to the United States, Lippi added: "We are talking about an international athlete. We do not know where he will be, but there will be no shortage of offers.

"With such a player you need patience to make decisions."

The qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup is all but over.

Some key matches still have to be played, with Wales yet to find out their fate as they wait to face the winner of Scotland's play-off with Ukraine, which has been postponed due to Russia's invasion of the country, while there are inter-confederation play-offs also to be decided.

In total, 28 nations have qualified already, and most of football's star names will be present.

That being said, while France's world champions will bid to defend their crown, Neymar will bring the Brazilian stardust, Lionel Messi will look to build on Argentina's Copa America triumph and Cristiano Ronaldo will feature at a record-equalling fifth tournament, some huge players - and indeed teams, in the case of Italy - will not be present in Qatar.

Stats Perform has looked at some of the star players who will be watching the tournament from home.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Arguably the best player in the world this season, Salah will not be lighting up Qatar with any mazy runs or sensational strikes. Given the tournament is in the middle of next season, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may secretly be pleased his talisman will not be risking injury or fatigue, but Salah – who blazed his penalty over in the decisive shoot-out against Senegal on Tuesday – will be a big miss.

 

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

A star of the 2014 World Cup, in which he won the golden boot, James Rodriguez scored Colombia's winner against Venezuela on Tuesday, yet Peru's victory over Paraguay meant the ex-Real Madrid playmaker and his team-mates will not appear in Qatar, where James currently plies his trade for Al-Rayyan.

Luis Diaz, who has made a flying start to life at Liverpool since joining from Porto in January, is another Colombian talent who will be watching on from the sidelines.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

The hero of Italy's Euro 2020 triumph with his saves in the penalty shoot-out victory over England last July, Donnarumma – one of Europe's best goalkeepers – will be watching on from afar along with the rest of Roberto Mancini's players. After his error in Paris Saint-Germain's capitulation against Madrid in the Champions League, March has been a sour month for the 23-year-old.

Georgio Chiellini (Italy)

While Donnarumma has time on his side to make it to the next World Cup, the same cannot be said for Giorgio Chiellini. The centre-back is 37 and will surely not be featuring at another major tournament for Italy now.

Defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci may also fall into that category, given he turns 35 in May, while 29-year-old playmaker Marco Verratti may also have seen his final chance of appearing at the World Cup for a second time dashed.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)

It was the battle of two of Europe's leading marksmen of the last decade on Tuesday, as Poland went head-to-head with Sweden, and it was Robert Lewandowski and Co. who came out on top, winning 2-0.

Bayern Munich star Lewandowski opened the scoring from the penalty spot, and though Ibrahimovic came on as a late substitute, he could not turn the tide in Sweden's favour. The Milan striker has suggested he wants to carry on playing for his country, but at 40, surely this was his last chance of appearing at a World Cup.

Erling Haaland (Norway)

Although Ibrahimovic may be approaching the tail-end of his career, Haaland is certainly not. Yet like the Swede, the Borussia Dortmund forward will not be playing in Qatar either.

Indeed, even if Norway had made it through their qualification group, it is uncertain as to whether or not the players would have chosen to boycott the tournament, having previously made their feelings on Qatar's human rights record clear. But they finished third in Group G anyway.

Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard is another bright Norweigian talent, though the Scandinavian nation may well fancy their chances heading towards Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup.

 

David Alaba (Austria)

Madrid defender Alaba could not inspire Austria to victory in their play-off clash with Wales, with Gareth Bale's double doing the damage. After a glittering career with Bayern, Alaba is on course to win LaLiga with Los Blancos, but any form of real, tangible success on the international stage looks set to avoid him.

Jan Oblak (Slovenia)

Oblak's form has dipped this season for Atletico Madrid but on his day he is still right up there among the world's best goalkeepers, though he could not help Slovenia finish higher than fourth in their qualification group, as their wait to qualify for a first World Cup since 2010 rolled on.

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