Juventus defender Chiellini slams Guardiola for ruining next generation of Italian defenders

By: Aveek Chakraborty
Juventus defender Chiellini slams Guardiola for ruining next generation of Italian defenders

Rome, Nov 11: Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has labelled that a generation of Italian defenders has been "ruined" by Pep Guardiola's obsession for his defenders to play notable passes instead of natural defensive abilities like making tackles, interceptions and winning headers.

Guardiola has been undoubtedly established himself as one of the best ever managers of all time with a large number of trophy counts in Barcelona as well as in Bayern Munich.

His footballing philosophy mainly relies upon possession and in this system he accustomed defenders who are comfortable with the ball at their feet as well as can make killer passes into the final third, creating chances.

And according to Chiellini, on the other hand, Italy who has always been blessed with defenders with solid defending abilities first now are taking inspiration from such gameplay which is damaging the natural style of Italian defenders.

The veteran defender insisted Guardiola's influence has now led young defenders to value distribution over marking and he is not happy about it.

Chiellini said: "Guardiolismo has ruined many Italian defenders a bit -- now defenders know how to set the tone of play and they can spread the ball, but they don't know how to mark. Unfortunately, that's the way it is.

"When I was young, we used to do drills to get a feel for the man you were making. Nowadays, from crosses, Italian defenders -- and I can only really talk for Italian defenders, I am only relatively interested in foreign players -- don't mark their man.

"It's a great pity because we're losing our DNA a bit and some of those characteristics which had made us excel in the world."

However, Chiellini also suggested that the current Italian footballers are misled to follow different role model apart from Italian gameplay that was produced in another nation in another condition and the youngsters and new managers should not dismiss Italy's own particular rich customs.

"Now, we need talented players up front, but we also need to bring somebody through in defence because we are never going to be able to play Spain's tiki-taka because it's not part of our philosophy," he said.

But despite suggesting such claims, the Juventus defender however also claimed that some of the young defender with the likes of Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Mattia Caldara, and AC Milan's Alessio Romagnoli also follow the same Italian principle and there is talent coming through the ranks in Italy.

"Anyway, there are some players emerging behind us: Caldara, Rugani and Romagnoli need to get some international experience, but it's normal, in fact many of them have already played more games than I had at their age."

Story first published: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 8:35 [IST]
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