Italy prepare for a massive World Cup qualifying game against Sweden on Friday night as football lovers around the world brace for the possibility of a World Cup without the Azzurri. It's something Giorgio Chiellini admits would be a huge shame, "This country has been participating in the World Cup for 60 years and it would be a shame if we didn't qualify. However, with Spain in our group, we knew that the play-offs was a possibility."
The central defender talked about the performance of Italy's defense and the balance needed in any team, "In the Euros, the BBC (Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini) made the headlines, but it was the whole team that helped, starting with the strikers who tore them open. The best defense in the world will not be enough if there is no balance in the team."
Chiellini also commented on the new philosophies of football that are emerging with defending being forgotten in favour of attacking football, "Guardiol-ismo has ruined a generation of defenders, now everyone is looking to push up, start the play, on crosses there are no Italian defenders who intimidate the rival and our tradition is being lost. We will never have the tiki-taka of Spain and looking for that would cause us to lose our history. Many were mad when I was saying that Juve would never win 6-0 like Madrid but I see that los Blancos are changing in this sense too."
The Italian also said that Italy need more goalscorers like in the past to get back to the top of international football but that "the return of some true defense would also help."