In the aftermath of Italy’s shocking elimination in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini thinks Pep Guardiola is to blame for “ruining the Italian defender”.
According to Chiellini, Italian football is in ruins because many Serie A coaches now try, and fail, to replicate the Manchester City manager’s style, leading to an embarrassing World Cup ouster for Italy – their first in 60 years.
City are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table as Guardiola who also won titles in Spain and Germany reinforces his position as the most consequential coach of the modern era.
However Azzurri defender Chiellini, who has made 458 appearances for the Juventus since 2005, claims Guardiola’s attractive brand of football has caused Italian defenders to lose their identity over the last few years.
“Pep Guardiola spoiled and ruined the Italian defender,” the tough-tackling defender saiid in recent interview.
“He is a fantastic coach with a fantastic mind but Italian trainers have tried to copy him without the same knowledge and then in the last 10 years, we lost our identity.
‘We lost our identity of [Paolo] Maldini, [Franco] Baresi, [Fabio] Cannavaro, [Alessandro] Nesta, [Giuseppe] Bergomi, [Claudio] Gentile, [Gaetano] Scirea… between 1984 and 1995, we have only [Leonardo] Bonucci.
“In 10 years, we didn’t launch one good defender. I hope now we restart and relaunch Italian football. The World Cup result is the proof of our problem.”
There you have it. But in Pep’s defence…you really can’t please everyone.