Chiellini says Guardiola’s style has ruined Italian defenders

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Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini

Juventus centre-half Giorgio Chiellini has blamed Pep Guardiola’s football philosophy for ruining a generation of Italian defenders.

Guardiola promotes the idea that every player on the pitch should be comfortable on the ball and look to create play. Chiellini though does not feel it fits in with the Italian style.

“The Guardiola way has ruined a generation of defenders as now they all look to go forward, when there are crosses there are not that type of Italian defender that intimidates the rival, we are forgetting our tradition,” he told Corriere dello Sport.

“We will never be like the tiki-taka of Spain. Last year I was criticised when I said that Juventus would never beat Real 6-0. In order to return to the elite we need a strong centre forward like we had 20 years ago but also an imposing defender would be good.”

Chiellini does though believe that there is talent coming through the ranks in Italy.

“It is not true that there are not promising Italian defenders, look at Rugani, Caldara and Romagnoli who are three lads from the 1994 generation,” said Chiellini.

“They still need to develop with international experience like I did but the truth is that when I was their age I had less experience. They will do well in the future.”