We know what we thought of Leonardo Bonucci’s decision to swap the black and white of Juventus for the black and red of Milan in 2017, but the important question is ‘what did Giorgio Chiellini think?’
Eyebrows were raised all over Italy and beyond when Bonucci – one of the best defenders in Europe and coming off the back of a sixth successive Serie A title – made the decision to leave Turin to join a struggling Milan side.
The move didn’t work out in the slightest. Bonucci’s performances drew criticism as Milan stumbled to a sixth-placed finish, and within a year he had secured a return to Turin – leaving everyone wondering why he’d bothered leaving in the first place.
And Chiellini – speaking in his autobiography ‘Io, Giorgio’ (quoted by Marca) – has revealed he was one such doubter.
“His year in Milan was different. It really was the wrong choice,” Chiellini said. “He wasn’t at peace with himself. He was shaken up by a thousand reasons and he made the decision.
“I felt it because everything had happened in a few weeks where we hadn’t seen each other. I’m sure that, if I would’ve been there, I’d have made him think, so he would’ve stayed.
“The same thing happened with [Antonio] Conte in 2014. I spoke to Leo when everything was already done – there was no logic to it from start to finish. I could’ve understood if he’d gone to Real Madrid, but to that Milan team?
“Destiny wanted everything to go back into its order.”
Chiellini and Bonucci have since resumed their mightily efficient partnership, winning the Serie A title in 2018/19, and sat top of the division at the time the season was paused.
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