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LAFC sign defender Giorgio Chiellini

The Euros champion is now black-and-gold.

Soccer, Finalissima 2022: Italy Vs Argentina Photo by Elianto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

It’s official: Giorgio Chiellini is now a member of LAFC’s squad.

The MLS club made it official on Monday, with the player himself making the initial announcement on his own social media.

The club subsequently announced he was signed to a TAM deal, that will run through 2023.

“Giorgio is a special, one-of-a-kind player and person,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said in a club statement. “Signing Giorgio was a unique opportunity to improve our club. He will complement what we believe is already a strong team as every day he will set the right example with his leadership competitiveness, and experience. He is a serial winner at the highest levels, and we are grateful he has chosen LAFC to join in our pursuit of trophies.”

“I felt very strongly about this new chapter in my career, and I am grateful to LAFC for this opportunity,” said Chiellini. “I’m thankful for all my years with Juventus and I’m looking forward to winning many more trophies in Los Angeles.”

Chiellini, 37, comes to LAFC after a legendary career in and for his native Italy. After coming through the Livorno set-up and turning pro in 2000, he spent four seasons in the lower divisions there before being signed by Juventus and Fiorentina in a joint ownership deal in 2004. After spending a dominant season with Fiorentina, he moved to Juve permanently in 2005, where he stayed until just a few weeks ago. With Juventus, he won one second division title, nine consecutive Serie A titles, five Coppas Italia and reached the Champions League final twice.

But Chiellini’s fame with Italy was nearly as great. Making his senior debut in 2004, he tallied 117 caps to date, winning the European Championship last year as captain and reaching the final in 2012. He played in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and was infamously the player bit by Luis Suarez during a game in the 2014 World Cup.

While Chiellini may have one of the best resumés in MLS now, there are obviously questions surrounding the signing. LAFC have a center back corps that already rolled five deep, with another couple players waiting in the wings for their turn at this level, and Chiellini is far from young and has dealt with injuries throughout his career. Is this really the move the club needed to take the team over the top and win trophies?

Time will tell, of course, but Chiellini is officially part of the black-and-gold, and it will be fascinating to see how his tenure goes in Los Angeles.

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