Chiellini out of Berlin final: Juventus
04 June 2015, 16:14
Milan - Juventus on Thursday ruled key defender Giorgio Chiellini out of the Champions League final against Barcelona after he suffered a muscle tear in training.
Chiellini had to leave training on Wednesday and scans on Thursday confirmed the bad news for the Italian champions.
"The scan revealed a first grade tear of the soleus muscle in his left leg, meaning the defender will miss Saturday's final with Barcelona," said a Juventus statement.
It was to be Chiellini's first Champions League final and his place will now be taken by Andrea Barzagli, who returned to training on Wednesday following his own, recent injury knock.
If Barzagli proves to be unfit for the game, Juventus will turn to Angelo Ogbonna, who has played only sporadically for the Turin giants this season on their way to a league and Cup double.
Chiellini's absence has robbed fans of watching him come up against Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, who was sent off and banned for four months after biting the Italian on the shoulder during an Italy v Uruguay group fixture at last summer's World Cup.
Asked on Monday if he would shake Suarez's hand before the game, Chiellini replied: "Of course I will!"
However Chiellini's absence will not be a disappointment to Barcelona, who look set to recover key midfielder Andres Iniesta for Saturday's final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Iniesta suffered a right calf injury at the weekend but took part in a full training session on Thursday.
Chiellini, whose natural position is at left-back, is regularly ranked among the top defenders in Europe and has often given Juventus extra potency in attack when he moves up the park for corners and free kick situations.
Chiellini scored the opener for Juve in their recent 2-1 Cup final win over Lazio as the Bianconeri clinched their first Cup and first league and Cup double since 1995.
Juventus had their final training session at their Vinovo training complex on Thursday and are set to travel to Berlin on Friday morning.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!