It did not come as a surprise to learn that Giorgio Chiellini was engrossed by ‘The Last Dance’, the recently released Netflix documentary on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Of Juventus’ current crop of players, it is their captain who arguably best personifies the club’s ethos: “Winning is not important – it’s the only thing that counts.”
Therefore, Jordan’s ruthless, ‘the ends justifies the means’ approach to professional sport was always going to resonate with Chiellini, who caused controversy last week by writing of his hatred of Inter in his autobiography, ‘Io, Giorgio’.
The centre-half promptly tried to explain his attitude towards the Nerazzurri by referencing Jordan, who stated in ‘The Last Dance’ that his “hatred” of the Bulls’ first great adversaries, the Detroit Pistons, endures to this day.
“I think people understand what I mean and I don’t wish to be misinterpreted,” Chiellini told La Repubblica. “I hate Inter in a sporting way just as Michael Jordan hates the Pistons.
“I can’t help but hate Inter, but 99.9 per cent of the time that I met up with players off the field after we tore each other to shreds on it, we could have a good laugh.