Real Madrid have been the home to numerous legends of the game over the years. There have been plenty of players though, that the club have been unsuccessful in signing as well. And in many cases, all you can do is wonder what could have been, if they had made the move to Santiago Bernabeu.
It looks like Giorgio Chiellini is one name that we can add to that category. The Italian is without doubt one of the best defenders of his generation and arguably does not get the credit that he deserves.
Chiellini spent the majority of his career playing for Juventus. He joined the club in 2004 and left in 2022. Over that period of time, he won an incredible amount of silverware, although the Champions League title eluded him, despite reaching the final on two occasions.
He was a stalwart for the Italy national team as well, making more than 100 appearances for them through the course of his career. At the international level, he won UEFA EURO 2020.
Juventus legend confirms he was close to joining Real Madrid
As reported by Tuttosport, Chiellini said:
"“I have been really close to Real Madrid only once in my career. Davide Lippi, my attorney, knows this better than I do because these things didn’t interest me so much. I’ve always been very focused on playing, but that time we were really one step away from my transfer to Real Madrid. In retrospect I can say that it would have been a good experience, because I am someone who really likes to travel. I’ve missed discovering new cultures in my career and maybe that’s also one of the reasons I’ve now come to play soccer in the United States.”"
Chiellini continues to play on to this day although he has left European football. Currently, he is playing for Los Angeles FC in the MLS.
Someone like Chiellini could have been a great signing for Real Madrid. But at the end of the day, it was not to be. It ultimately worked out well for both parties though.
Real Madrid have been the most successful club of the century, when it comes to European competitions, dominating the UEFA Champions League once again. On the other hand, Juventus enjoyed an incredible run in the Serie A during the time of Chiellini and were very successful in domestic competitions, and were unlucky to not win the cup with the big ears.