Giorgio Chiellini explained what it takes to be a great centre-back for Juventus. “A good defender must be pessimistic and think of the worst-case scenario.”
The Italy and Bianconeri star spoke to UEFA.com and you can read the rest of the interview here.
“I had originally wanted to start playing basketball with my friend from school, but as I was only five years old and I have a twin brother who wanted to play football, we went together to the football school and this great love affair with the sport began.
“I played in midfield until the age of 12 or 13, then started going up and down the flank up until 20 and from 20 onwards I started playing as a centre-back.
“To be a good centre-back, you need a lot of focus and concentration, which are two fundamental characteristics. You must feel pleasure in anticipating your opponent, so not just scoring goals or producing, but in a way destroying the approach of the other team and preventing their forward from scoring.
“On top of that, a good defender must be pessimistic, in the sense that he must always think of the worst-case scenario. You or your teammate could lose the ball at any moment and a dangerous situation come about. It’s not easy to keep up that mentality for 90 minutes in every game, because when you are tired or not so sharp, it can be difficult to think quickly, but I feel the mind is more important than any technical or athletic qualities.
“Personally, I try to make the most of my strengths, which are physical contact with the striker. When I’m up against faster forwards, I try to start my run a second earlier and not leave open ground for him to run in to. I feel knowing your opponent’s characteristics is increasingly important in modern football.”