Football News

‘I see parallels with Pavel Nedved’ — Federico Chiesa backed by Juve legend to win the Ballon d’Or in three years

By Ben Green

Published: 22:13, 12 August 2021

Former Juventus midfielder Alessio Tacchinardi believes current star and Euro 2020 winner Federico Chiesa can win the Ballon d’Or in less than five years.  

Chiesa, 23, played a prominent role for The Old Lady last term, scoring eight goals and registering eight assists in Serie A, while also bagging the winning goal in the 2021 Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, before taking that form into the Euros.

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Federico, whose father Enrico won 22 caps for Italy during his playing days, flourished under Roberto Mancini this summer, playing a star role in the Euro 2020 final against England, where he proved a real menace on the flanks to terrorise Gareth Southgate’s defence.

The Italians ultimately triumphed on penalties against England at Wembley to win their second European Championship, and Chiesa’s name will be forever etched in Gli Azzurri folklore, but Tacchinardi believes this is only just the start for the Juve winger.

He told Tuttosport: “The years in which we have to repeat ourselves, or continue to grow, are the hardest.

“For Chiesa, it will be extremely difficult to meet the expectations. I have heard talk about him winning the Ballon d’Or in three or four years: I agree.

“I see the same poison that Pavel Nedved had. He has enormous qualities; he dribbles left and right and can shoot with very little space.

“Last year he touched the border of the top players. I believe he will get there this year and [Massimiliano] Allegri, who has always been a champion, can help him.”

Buffon: When Chiesa first arrived, I didn’t think he was that good

Another Juventus legend recently gave his thoughts on Chiesa, with Gianluigi Buffon revealing he didn’t understand the hype when he first arrived in Turin, before admitting he was wrong with his appraisal and now claiming his compatriot is a “special” talent.

Buffon said last month: “When he arrived at Juve I didn’t think he was so good. I am honest.

“In the European Championship he was unbelievable, in the final match with England, it was impossible to stop him.

“After a season at Juve with Federico it is no longer a surprise for me, but it was not obvious that he would be able to play at such a high level in a tournament like the European Championship.

“If you do those things at such a high level, then it means that you are really special.”

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