Is Chiesa the BEST big-game player in the world?

Carlo Garganese

There is nothing in football that separates the good players from the elite players more than the ability to perform in the biggest matches.

Federico Chiesa undoubtedly falls into the latter category.

Ever since joining Juventus just over a year ago from Fiorentina, his record against the top teams and in the landmark matches has been nothing short of sensational.

Chiesa’s big game record in 2020-21

Last season, Chiesa scored against every top six team in Serie A; champions Inter, Milan (twice), Atalanta (twice), Napoli and Lazio. His double against Milan at San Siro in a 3-1 win when he tore the best left back in the league, Theo Hernandez, to shreds will live long in the memory.

Chiesa scored all three of Juventus’ knockout goals in the Champions League, while he grabbed the winner in the Coppa Italia final versus Atalanta.

And then for Italy, the winger was one of the stars at Euro 2020. He scored crucial knockout goals against Austria and Spain on route to the final.

The goal against Austria – a stunning control, turn and volley all in one manoeuvre - in the last-16 came in extra time while the scores were locked at 0-0. He then broke the deadlock in the semi-final versus Spain, also at Wembley, with an equally fantastic individual effort.

In the final victory over England, Chiesa was arguably the man-of-the-match until he was forced off injured deep into the second half. The wideman attacked the home side again and again, twice going close to scoring.

Chiesa stars v Chelsea

And in Juve’s first big European game of the 2021-22 season against the European champions, Chiesa once again turned up on the big occasion in the 1-0 win over Chelsea in Turin.

His fearless and direct running caused Chelsea all kinds of problems on the counter-attack as Juventus sat deep and broke.

He went close to breaking the deadlock in the first half as he fizzed an effort just wide after bursting forward from the halfway line.

And the 23-year-old scored the winner with a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner just 10 seconds into the second half.

He received a standing ovation when he came off with 14 minutes to go.

Is there a better big-game player in world football right now than Federico Chiesa?