Giorgio Chiellini, an Italian defender, has left Juventus after 17 years to sign with Los Angeles FC.
The 37-year-old Chiellini signed a deal with the Major League Soccer team on Monday. He will stay with the team through the 2023 season.
With two tweets, Chiellini confirmed the move that had been talked about for a long time. On Wednesday, he will be introduced to the public in Los Angeles.
Chiellini wrote, “I felt very strongly about this next step in my career, and I’m grateful to (at)LAFC for giving me this chance.” “I’m grateful for all the years I spent with Juventus, and I hope to win many more trophies in Los Angeles.”
Since 2005, Chiellini played for Juventus, where he won nine Serie A titles and five Coppa Italia titles. He left the Turin club officially last month, and on June 1, he played his last game for the Italian national team, which didn’t make it to the World Cup.
Since last year, LAFC’s general manager, John Thorrington, has been in touch with Chiellini’s twin brother, Claudio, about a possible move. After Italy didn’t make it to the World Cup in March, talks between the two teams picked back up, and LAFC moved quickly to sign the veteran center back who is known for his physical play and leadership as Juve’s captain.
Thorrington told The Associated Press, “When you have the chance to get someone who does what he does, and when we know for sure that every player will get better every day he’s here, it was a no-brainer.” “His record as a player says it all.”
Coming out of the international break, LAFC is on top of the MLS standings with a record of 9-3-2. The team coached by Steve Cherundolo has the most goals in the league and is also one of the best defensive teams. While Eddie Segura was hurt, Jesus Murillo and Mamadou Fall played most of the minutes at center back.
Since joining the MLS as an expansion club in 2018, LAFC hasn’t signed many veteran players who are in the second half of their careers. Instead, LAFC has relied a lot on young players who can be sold, like former MLS MVP striker Carlos Vela, who is expected to sign a new contract soon.
Thorrington said it was too tempting to pass up the chance to sign Chiellini. After a full season in Serie A and playing for Italy, Chiellini will need some time to get used to his new team. However, Thorrington thinks his club will see benefits right away.
Thorrington said, “I don’t want to say that even if he doesn’t play, it would be worth it, but whether he plays or not, his impact will be much bigger than when he plays.” “He will definitely make a good group of defenders even better when he plays. He can talk to people very well. He makes plans. He speaks English well. He will be able to talk to the guys playing next to and in front of him. I had very high hopes for what he would be like, and he surpassed them.
LAFC made the move by making a deal with targeted allocation money. This means that Chiellini won’t take up one of the three designated player roster spots, which don’t count against the normal salary cap. As the team tries to win its first MLS Cup, LAFC hopes to soon add a third designated player, likely in an attacking role.
“Players at every stage of their careers are interested in MLS,” “Thorning said,” “We’re becoming a much more appealing place to play, and I think Giorgio will play a big role in the growth of the sport in this country and the growth of LAFC.