Interested onlookers, and Juventus, have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday in Berlin as Giorgio Chiellini has been ruled out through injury.
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Chiellini, 30, injured his left calf and will now miss his reunion with Luis Suarez, the man who bit him in the shoulder the last time they squared off at the 2014 World Cup.
The injury to the Italian international defender has robbed the public of one of the most eagerly anticipated tussles in the UCL final between Barcelona and Juventus but more importantly the central defender is an instrumental figure in Juve’s defense.
Earlier this week Chiellini said he would had no problem facing Suarez despite the Uruguayan being banned for four months and nine international games for biting him last June in a World Cup group game between Italy and Uruguay.
Juventus say that Chiellini felt something wrong in his calf muscle on Wednesday and a subsequent scan revealed it was torn. It is a heartbreaking blow for the man who is in his 10th season with Juve and has played over 400 times for the club. His leadership — Chiellini scored and captained Juve in their 2-1 Coppa Italia success over Lazio this season — will be sorely missed but 34-year-old defender Andrea Barzagli will likely slot into his spot in the heart of Juve’s defense.
Even without Chiellini around, expect Suarez to get up to all kinds of mischief as he tries to break down the staunch defense of the Italian champions on Saturday.