Giorgio Chiellini has admitted that replacing Gianluigi Buffon as Juventus captain ‘isn’t easy’ and compared Cristiano Ronaldo to Usain Bolt and Roger Federer.
Chiellini took the armband after Buffon left for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, but the loss of Juve’s long-serving goalkeeper was eased by the arrival of Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
“Replacing Gigi isn’t easy at all,” the defender told La Stampa.
“As captain you don’t have to do other people’s jobs. You have to maintain balance, and in a multicultural dressing room with different backgrounds, habits and religions it’s not always easy. But sharing them is beautiful.
“Ronaldo? You become a leader. I’m a curious person, I’m a good observer and I like to learn. Having near Ronaldo me, for example, is interesting.
“He’s like Bolt and Federer: knowing the habits of those who have an extra gear helps. It’s not to imitate him but rather to broaden my horizons.”
Chiellini has won seven straight Scudetti with Juve – so what keeps him going?
“Lloris, the France goalkeeper, said he had a few difficult months after the World Cup because he couldn’t find new motivation,” added the 34-year-old.
“I think that was the case with the Italy team. I saw the Juventus players who won in 2006 and they came back dazed.
“At Juve it’s different. A victory here is, above all, a relief in that the job is done.”