Chiellini says it's important for footballers to start preparing for life after football during the prime of their career. “At 20 years old you feel indestructible and able to do anything in football. But at 35 your career is more or less finished. You then have the rest of your life in front of you, and just being able to play football is not enough.”
He says that studying has not interfered with his football career and has even helped him improve his performance on the pitch. “Studying helped relieve the pressure in the world of football and kept my brain sharp. If you are not sharp in matches you can’t make the quick decisions that are needed to reach the top level in football.”
“Start thinking about life after football at the beginning of your career, not at the end”— by Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini fully supports FIFPRO’s 'Mind the Gap' campaign, which encourages footballers to prepare for a second career. “Only a few players manage to find a job in football. There’s the risk of depression and many former players face financial problems because they have not thought about the future. You need to start thinking about life after football at the beginning of your career, not at the end.”
The 'Mind the Gap' campaign is led by FIFPRO and co-funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ Program.