Sunday May 10 2020
Sniping backfires on Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini’s criticism of Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo in his new book may have been valid, but Livio Caferoglu feels let down by the Juventus defender.

Giorgio Chiellini’s persona on the pitch is far from squeaky clean, but off it he seemed like a thoroughly decent chap. Donating one per cent of his salary to charity, he is also one of the few footballers who value a good education, receiving a master’s degree in Business Administration back in 2017. On top of that, he played a key role in the Juventus squad taking a pay cut to help their club through the coronavirus pandemic.

So when Chiellini made the announcement that he would be releasing an autobiography, it came with the pledge to donate all proceeds to charity. Fans were naturally expecting an honest read from a player who always gave 110 per cnet on a football field and a person who prided himself on principles, offering unique insight into how he meshed a will to win at all costs with a will to make the world around him a better place.

Judging by first impressions, however, ‘Io, Giorgio’ – or ‘Me, Giorgio’ in English - has been anything but. While he promised hot takes on his ‘sporting hatred’ of Inter and scraps with various opponents, his interview with La Repubblica to promote the book was overshadowed by scathing criticism of Mario Balotelli and Felipe Melo.

“I was really let down by two players and I confirm everything I wrote in the book,” he told the newspaper. “Balotelli is a negative person, with no respect for the group. During the Confederations Cup against Brazil in 2013, he didn’t lend a helping hand for anything, he really did deserve a slap. Some people thought he was among the top five strikers in the world, but I never even considered him in the top 10 or 20.

“However, there was someone worse, Felipe Melo: really the worst of the worst. I cannot abide people who lack respect, those who always want to be contrarians. With him around, it was permanently likely to break out into a brawl. I told the directors that, too: he is a bad apple.”

To see a man of the 35-year-old’s stature resorting to cheap shots at two easy targets is hugely disappointing. He hoped that by exposing the attitudes of his two former teammates, it would reassert his reputation as the consummate professional of Calcio. Instead, it proved counter-productive. It even left some Juve supporters questioning the character of their captain.

Balotelli may have achieved far less in the game than Chiellini and is arguably more known for his off-field antics, but he would be the first to admit that he never realised his potential to be a top-five striker. He can also never be accused of not being direct in his approach, whether that be with teammates, opponents, critics – or Manchester City youth players.

“You had so many opportunities to do that since 2013, to behave like a real man, but you didn’t do it,” ‘Super Mario’ sniped back in an Instagram post. “Who knows what you’ll say one day about your current teammates, you strange captain… If this means being a champion, then I prefer not to be one.” Who knew Balotelli would emerge as the voice of reason in this row? He’s right, because as Chiellini’s career is far from over, the inevitable question will float into the minds of his teammates: will they be in the sequel?

Melo will go down as one of the Bianconeri’s worst-ever buys and, given his ability to pick a fight in an empty room, his statements should normally be taken with a pinch of salt. Yet he too was inexplicably made to sound like a more straight-forward figure than Chiellini.

“I’d like to know what incidents he was referring to. When I was in Turin, I never lacked respect for anyone: teammates, directors or Juventus in general. At this point, though, I have no respect for him. And I never will have. He says Balotelli should be slapped and I am the worst of the worst who always risked sparking a brawl? Well, he was always a coward who’d wet himself…

“Besides, it’s too easy to be nasty about someone in a book. Perhaps ‘this defender’ is still angry with me, because when I went to Galatasaray, we gave his Juve some ‘slaps’ and knocked them out of the Champions League. This is what Chiellini is like, he always acts as if he’s the greatest.”

Chiellini’s autobiography will be released on Tuesday and we may end up struggling to put it down if he chooses to focus on himself and not dig up any more dirt. Yet for a player so many regard as the backbone of Juventus and Italy to come across so spinelessly, the damage may have already been done. His cynical marketing ploy may have generated a few more clicks on social media and driven a couple-thousand more sales, but at what price?

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Have your say...
y'all need to get laid or start gardening or something, who cares about any of these millionaires opinions of each other?
on the 15th May, 2020 at 4:36pm
Chiellini is always be a coward? Nice try haters. The guy is a real professional, better than Mr. Ego Ibra and no surprise Chiello always owns him whenever they are facing each other on field. Tough and tricky on field but nice and honest off field. Pls no need to bring Maldini at the end of his career. We all have witnessed the degradation of a once beast defender into a clumsy grumpy old man and yeah Chiello owned him on that field.
on the 15th May, 2020 at 6:17am
This brings to mind two instances. One was from Ibrahimovic's biography that said that Chiellini was a wimp (basically was acting all tough on the field but when the final whistle blew and he was confronted by Ibra, he was really scared). The other was a Milan-Juve match in 2009 (I think) where Maldini grabbed Chiellini by his shirt and the scared look in Chiellini's eyes was priceless. Has been and will always be a coward.
on the 14th May, 2020 at 12:15pm

You are indeed anonymous. I feel ashamed trying to make you see sense. I humbly apologise.

Have a good life, Anonymouse! Ooops!

Hahahaha lol Hahahahah lol (Whatever they mean to you.
on the 13th May, 2020 at 11:37am
I don’t get this tbh. Chiellini said something that everyone here and there grandma knows to be the truth about two dumb players. Simple lesson here is don’t be dumb and people will not have to attack you and let you know you are dumb lol simple. Do you think you are being attacked Ezra ? Hahahahah hahahaha.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 6:05pm
@Anonymous: You are not a top football player either, so if a top football player decides to cheaply critisize another TOP football player, you should just shut up. Your arguments never center on any tangible facts, apart from aggressively trying to silence everyone who has a different opinion other than yours. Cue? Just re-read all the comments below from bottom up.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 5:13pm
Exactly. When a top footballer (Balo) word-slaps another top footballer (Chiellini) you should shut up & accept it.

I read your 1. point ...& stop reading further. You're purposefully mean, no way you believe that!

I will not respond further to anyone.
Fact is Giorgio first "slapped". Balo slapped in return.
& IT WAS A SLAP!!! A Masterslap at that --no matter what some of you are saying.
Attacking author of this article & not acknowledging Balo's grand response is miserable of you.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 5:10pm
1. nobody cares about, or will remember totti.
2. Toni never said he played dirty so stop lying, the article is right here. He said chiellini was smarter than him and would go to ground even if he was the one who committed the offense.
3. Again these are called defensive tactics and clearly you could not have been watching football in the 90s and early 20s when defending was much worse by your satandard
4. Your name has totti in it so I don’t expect you to understand any of this.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 1:01pm
Ezra you are not a top football player. So when top football players speak about another top football player, it’s best to just shut up and accept the fact that you are WRONG. 
on the 12th May, 2020 at 12:51pm
@Anonymous. First off u it's a matter of opinion. So if u preffer Chiellini as your best defender, I prefer the late Astori or Bazagli to bring it home. With your Chielini making countless mistakes and getting away with it almost everytime just because he plays for Juve? Pathetic. So enjoy your
world-class sham of a defender. He just doesn't cut it for me.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 9:10am
I am pleasantly surprised by quite a few intelligent thought provoking comments on here. unfortunately I am too lazy to go back and name names, but you know who you are . as far as Chiellini , the man is, as well as we all are, is entitled to his opinion. ballotelli ???? well after I had my near death experience, I now choose to look for the good in people instead of hating . so I still have hope he can turn it around ….no comment on melo , VIVA ITALIA !!!! FORZZA AZZURRI !!!!
on the 12th May, 2020 at 4:22am

As Dari0 said,
Why is there so much talk about this??
Like we are some gossip girls!

I only wanted to post ONCE, congratulating Balo for his smart, mature reply. (Melo's response was childish...)

I hate Balo & always attack him...
But he deserves praise for this.
Every word choice/ placement was masterful in his reply
--Professional screenwriter wouldn't respond better!

Mario word-slapped Chiellini & it seems also some of you Juventini with it.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 2:24am

Did you hear in the same interview that Luca Toni called Chiellini a dirty player, always hitting you with elbows & then throwing himself to the ground?
That refs always fell for it & Giorgio was always protected by them?
on the 12th May, 2020 at 1:56am
2. Totti was a FOOTBALL GOD. People who don't know anything about football, know him. His talent is PURE. INDISPUTABLE. He is easily in Top 100 players that EVER played this sport! We can all be thankful for having opportunity to watch this artist-wizard perform for us. ...& here you are demeaning him for being stupid???  I despise CR7's personality... Yet can only bow to the man's game.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 1:32am


In every post
I have to defend my username...

I chose a memorable name that signals which team I support (/reveals my biases) & pays respect to a man so TALANTED & LOYAL it brings tears to my eyes.
It's not the best nick, but I will stick to it as I'm not ashamed of my past posts --I was never racist, homophobic, vulgar like some of you (Pinturicchio)...

You Anonymous guys are afraid to give a persona to your posts.
This way you can shift your opinions.
on the 12th May, 2020 at 12:53am
LOL so many comments here, people need to read a book written not by a football player - you might be surprised!
on the 11th May, 2020 at 11:05pm
@ Ezra . What a weirdo you are. Luca Toni just said in an interview that chiellini is the best man marker in the game. What you believe is dirty is called tactical brilliance and overall outsmarting your opponent. Clearly there are no good defenders on the team you support so there is no way for you to compare this hahahahaha too bad for you !!! You can keep your lame defenders I will keep my Giorgio C. Carry on and stop being a hater for no reason please. Zlatan also approves of GC lol.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 10:21pm
Lol, Good advertising for his book! Clowns will be clowns and talk about this like these 3 players are Saints. Cheillini has made a successful career of antagonizing players on and off the field and he really doesn't care about it. Don't get your panties in a bunch about it.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 10:01pm
Chiellini's statements pulled back the veil. We have now got to know the real Chielini. He always plays dirty (but to Juve fans, they see it as "wise"); and his personality always comes out as someone who carries around a fair air of self importance. To come out and muck the evening of his book launch with such statements only reflects a person who got where he has gotten without class. Such incidents last longer than ones reputation. Ask Zizane.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 8:06pm
Football saved totti life. If it wasn’t not for football he would not even be able to become a garbage man. Not taking anything away from garbage men but if totti was even a garbage man he would fail at that as he would not even be able to have a proper conversation with the people he is collecting the garbage from. Long story short, totti is dumb, balotelli is dumb and melo is melo lol He has his own level of dumb. So next time totti, before you talk nonsense. Remember captain of dumb totti.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 3:05pm
@totti. First of all, hahahahaha !!!!! Totti is by far the dumbest player in the history of football. The man can’t even form a proper sentence far less count from 1 to 10. Captain spitting on people totti hahahaha!!!! Having totti in your name and talking about chiellini is top level hypocrisy buddy. In fact if I was chi Elkins I would have added him to those two idiots and it would just be the 3 stooges. Worlds dumbest football players ever to be filmed hahahah!!!!!! Now vanish pls lol!
on the 11th May, 2020 at 2:54pm
@ Pinturicchio,
Don't let your sniping backfire too ;)

I don't respond to people giving me names.
Copy what you said, but address me by my username & I can reply...

Half a year ago I labelled Bonucci a jerk...
& my post was modified.
Yet for Balo, FI allows this term.
(I guess here you can't call that a Juventus player.)
on the 11th May, 2020 at 11:59am
Why bother running a comments section when it is so uncivilized FI? Anyway, a lot of people are missing the point. A captain should lead by example. There is an unwritten rule in football that things should be aired in the dressing room, and resolved there. Keane did that. Vieira did that. Keown, Adams, this list goes on. GC said nothing to these guys and instead aired his views publicly. If he can't say it direct, what does he think of his current team? Trust is a big factor in team spirit.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 11:47am
@You clown AKA United States of Idiots, no one is defending Chiellini, because the truth needs no defence, it's self-evident. The whole world knows what a jerk Balotelli is, and what a limited personality he has. Melo, similarly, is a classless thug, and has proven he has not even an iota of intelligence. Chiellini, on the other hand, has proven for over a decade that he's a world-class leader and a classy person. There is no confusion here, except with whiny clowns like you...
on the 11th May, 2020 at 10:29am
You want to tell me Giorgio lacked the courage to say such things to their face when they were teammates? Balotelli had so many chances and wasted them all. Felipe Melo no one cares about but Chillieni, as captain, has the duty to voice his opinion. this is leadership to say privately and publicly your opinion.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 6:42am
I stand with Chiellini for this matter.. why can't he write the worst player he ever played with?

For sure he cannot say it direct to the Mello and Ballo when they're played together, because it can damage the athmosphere to the entire team. But now they played in different team, so there's nothing wrong with chiellini's statement. (even though he said it for the sake of popularity of his autobioghraphy)
on the 11th May, 2020 at 4:21am
The same can be said about you!
Why are you so defensive of Chiellini?
Why are you "so upset"?
What's "the big deal"? Why are you "such babies"??

Don't be hypocritical.
What did Balo say in his reply that wasn't "truthful"??? Mario has a valid point as much as Chiellini.
Hence the title: "Sniping backfires on Chiellini".
Author states Giorgio lost more than the other two who were ALREADY labelled as bad apples. Now he's branded as spiteful, resentful & GOING BEHIND PEOPLE'S BACKS...
on the 11th May, 2020 at 3:11am
How thoughtless of him. Imagine a world where people tell the truth...and where one day others learn to deal with it.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 1:25am
Why is it a big deal that CHiellini did this? Oh bc the world is full of babies and everyone wants to feel like they are soooo disenfranchised And at the end of the day the way Melo is acting like such a baby and a immature little Millennial baby shows that Chiellini is a 100% right about that Loser. The point of a book is to reveal things. Duh.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 12:59am
My question: is why is anyone upset? Balo and Melo can bang on all they like with that "say it to my face" attitude. The point is if they (along with the rest of the world) do not already know about how not only he but the entire world rest of the world thinks about than them, it says more about their lack of intelligence than their antics itself. They're both frauds. Balotelli be bankrupt almost immediately after football and Melo will also be living in the favelas.
on the 11th May, 2020 at 12:32am

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