Barzagli, of course, is in a greater place to investigate their relationship than most. Until not too long ago, Bonucci and Chiellini weren’t a pair, however half of a trio, for each Juventus and Italy: Barzagli accomplished it, till he withdrew first from worldwide rivalry in 2018, and then retired from taking part in fully just a few months later.
Each one, in that triumvirate, had his personal function. In Chiellini’s estimation, he was the “aggressive” one, Bonucci was the “metronome,” and Barzagli the “professor.” “He is always in the right place at the right moment,” Chiellini mentioned.
To Bonucci, Barzagli was the “example.” “Andrea is unbeatable in one-on-ones,” he mentioned.
Barzagli’s interpretation runs alongside comparable traces. “Giorgio is the type of defender who needs to feel contact,” he mentioned. “He uses his intelligence but also his physical strength to deny a player space. That type of defending is increasingly rare now. It has changed a lot in the last few years. I don’t want to say he is one of the last great Italian defenders, but he is in that tradition.”
Bonucci, in contrast, is “more modern,” Barzagli mentioned, higher at “reading the game, understanding situations,” the kind of participant that Pep Guardiola, the excessive priest of the fashionable fashion of defending, has described as “one of his favorite ever.” Matthijs de Ligt, the Dutch defender who serves as Barzagli’s inheritor at Juventus, admires his “vision, the accuracy of his long and short passing.” He sees one thing else in Chiellini. “It looks like he has a magnet in his head,” de Ligt mentioned.
Barzagli has not but determined the place he’ll watch the remaining on Sunday. Nerves by no means troubled him as a participant; watching video games as a spectator, he has discovered, is a bit more aggravating. “It is because you can’t do anything,” he mentioned. He would possibly select to observe in the sanctuary of his own residence, slightly than with different individuals, to assist him deal with it higher.