Chiellini hoping for Euros return

Chiellini hoping for Euros return

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is confident he will be fit in time for the start of the European Championships.

The Italy international sustained a right thigh strain in Juve’s final game of the Serie A season on May 13 and was ruled out for 20 days.

Chiellini will miss two friendlies against Luxembourg on May 29 and Russia on June 1 but hopes to return to action for the start of Euro 2012.

“I will be ready at the right time,” Chiellini said to Corriere dello Sport. “If I don’t take part in the two friendly games prior to the tournament then it will be as a precautionary measure.

“I want to be ready to take on Spain on June 10 and I will be.”

The 27-year-old missed just four league games this season and was key in helping champions Juve finish with the best defensive record in the division with only 20 goals conceded in 38 games.

Italy begin their Euro 2012 campaign against world and European champions Spain before taking on Group C rivals Croatia on June 14 and the Republic of Ireland on June 18.

Chiellini was included in Italy coach Cesare Prandelli’s preliminary squad for this summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

However, Prandelli has issued a warning to all of his players that only the fittest will make the final cut.

The Azzurri tactician is set to announce his final 23-man squad on May 28.

“We have been very clear with all the players,” Prandelli said. “We cannot allow to take players that are not 100% fit because we don’t have the time for them to recover.”

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