Edinson Cavani

Cavani singles out his toughest opponent

Saturday 11 September 2021 07:00

Edinson Cavani has picked out Italy and Juventus stalwart Giorgio Chiellini as his toughest opponent in football.

The 37-year-old centre-back captained the Azzurri to Euro 2020 glory in the summer and was widely regarded as one of the tournament’s best players.

His partnership with Leonardo Bonucci for both club and country has spanned well over a decade, gleaning countless major trophies, and when he does eventually retire Chiellini will surely be placed alongside the likes of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini in the pantheon of Italy’s greatest defenders.

Our new no.21 has come up against Chiellini on a grand total of 10 occasions while with Palermo, Napoli and Uruguay.

Fans' Q&A: Part one with Edinson Cavani Video

Fans' Q&A: Part one with Edinson Cavani

Watch as Cavani tackles a selection of your questions, on his celebration, pre-match rituals and more…

In those matches, Edi has scored an impressive six goals, including a 2011 hat-trick for Napoli, but there’s no doubt in his mind that the Juve skipper has been the hardest player to get the best of.

“You can imagine that I’ve played against lots of different opponents, and lots of tough ones too,” Edi explained, in part one of his fans’ Q&A, which you can read here.

“But I’ve always said, and for a long time now, that the most difficult defender I’ve come up against was Giorgio Chiellini.

“We’ve played against each other in many games, and we’ve competed against each other all over the pitch, so yes I can tell you that Giorgio Chiellini has been the toughest defender I’ve had to face.”

It’s always interesting to hear from the first-team squad who they see as their toughest opponent and a variety of names are always thrown up.

Cavani wrestles with Chiellini during a 2014 World Cup match.

Marcus Rashford mentioned future team-mate Raphael Varane when asked the same question in his Fans’ Q&A, while Paul Pogba opted for midfield engines N’Golo Kante and Casemiro.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka chose Paris Saint-Germain’s mercurial forward Neymar after our Champions League battles with the French side last year, which Alex Telles agrees with.

Meanwhile, Fred picked the great Lionel Messi, having gone up against the-then Barcelona playmaker in April 2019.