Last night’s clash with Roma was a special occasion for Giorgio Chiellini, and there couldn’t have been a more fitting result than the 3-0 win the long-serving defender made a crucial contribution to as he reached the milestone of 300 Juventus appearances.
The 29-year-old led the way in defence with 21 recoveries of the ball, but also delighted the fans with his customary enthusiasm surging forward down the left wing, a determination to help out in attack that led to Daniele De Rossi’s dismissal on that flank.
With 300 appearances now under his belt, Chiellini’s number three shirt will rightly go on show in the J-Museum alongside those of the other members of the prestigious circle of players in the club’s history books for this famous feat.
The recognition couldn’t be more fully deserved for a man who always given his all in the black and white stripes. The Pisa-born defender has represented Juventus in as many as eight different competitions since his arrival back in 2005, both in Italy and in Europe.
Aside from his natural positional awareness and a relentless desire to win every ball, to understand the full impact of Chiellini you need only look as his tally of goals.
He’s netted 27 in total, an extraordinary record for a defender, and has already equaled his goals-per-season average in the 2013/14 campaign with strikes in Serie A against Milan and Bologna and in the Super Cup against Lazio.
In Juventus’ recent successes, Chiellini has worked in often unbeatable tandem with Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli, two stoppers who were also celebrating milestones against Roma last night.
Bonucci put a memorable icing on the cake of his 150th appearance with the second goal, while Barzagli was a rock throughout his 100th league outing for the Bianconeri.