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John Terry: Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are the best players of their generation

By Ben Green

Published: 12:27, 23 November 2021

Chelsea legend John Terry has labelled Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci the best players of their generation.

The defensive stalwarts have enjoyed medal-hoovering careers at Juventus and Italy, winning the European Championship with the latter at the expense of England in the summer.

Chiellini and Bonucci replicated their near-impenetrable centre-back partnership with Juve for the Azzurri, as Roberto Mancini’s men secured the nation’s second European Championship, after 1968.

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A host of Serie A medals and Coppa Italia ribbons occupy their respective trophy cabinets, but a Euro 2020 winner’s gong will likely go down as the best achievement of two glittering careers.

Terry, of course, was no stranger to silverware during his own playing career, collecting an abundance of medals with Chelsea, but an international trophy eluded his grasp before hanging up his boots in 2018.

As one of the game’s finest defenders, Terry has spoken about the players he modelled his game off, as well as talking up Chiellini and Bonucci, whom he believes are the best players of their generation.

Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Juventus, Terry told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I studied Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. Maldini is my absolute idol, he made everything look easy. Nobody has ever had his style.

“Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are the best players of his generation, they are two legends already.”

Terry went on to discuss a key moment in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, in which Chiellini came under the spotlight after pulling back Bukayo Saka’s shirt when the teenager skipped past him, believing the veteran Italian made a ‘legendary’ decision.

“To do what Chiellini did on Saka….it’s not easy. If you just think about it, it’s clear that you are a legend.

“To me, England were superior to Italy, but the Azzurri had something special. When I saw them sing the national anthem during the group stage, I thought: ‘This is what the fans want, fight together, with passion and sacrifice.’ The experience did the rest.”

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