Major League Soccer is getting a new international star.
Giorgio Chiellini is headed to Los Angeles FC on a free transfer after a 17-year stint with Juventus of Serie A in Italy.
Romano reported that Chiellini, who will be playing in Wednesday’s Finalissima between Italy and Argentina, will soon fly to Los Angeles to finalize the deal with his new club. No salary amount has been reported yet, though.
The veteran centre-back is one of the sport’s most revered figures following successful lengthy tenures with both Juventus and the Italian national football team.
He made his first appearance with Livorno in 2000 before bouncing between Roma and Livorno until the 2004 campaign. Juventus signed him that summer for a €6.5 million fee but immediately sent him on loan to Fiorentina.
Chiellini became a regular member of the starting XI for Fiorentina that year until Juventus recalled him for the 2005-06 season. The rest is history. Juventus later won nine straight league titles from 2011 to 2020, including five Coppa Italia wins (2014-2018, 2020-21).
His presence was also vital for Italy, especially in the UEFA Euro 2020 competition that took place in 2021 due to COVID-19. Italy beat England in the final on penalties, and Chiellini was awarded the Best Defender of the Competition for his stoutness on defense.
Now with LAFC, there’s potential for the 37-year-old defender to add hardware in his first season. LAFC is currently in first place in the Western Conference with a 9-2-3 record and boasts a championship-caliber roster.
Nineteen-year-old Mamadou Fall, 30-year-old Sebastien Ibeagha and 28-year-old Jesus Murillo are the primary central defenders, so adding Chiellini gives them a key short-term upgrade as the team seeks its first league title since its establishment in 2014.