Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini discussed his biography, former Inter forward Mario Balotelli and his hatred of Inter in an interview in today’s paper edition of the Rome based newspaper la Repubblica.

“I didn’t want to speak ill of anyone, but I would have hidden a part of me. In the book I say that Balotelli is a negative person and doesn’t have respect for the squad, and I confirm that. In the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013 he didn’t give us a hand in anything, someone had to push him constantly.”

He also discussed former Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo, who spent two years in Turin.

“I was also very disappointed by Felipe Melo, the worst of the worst. We always risked having a fight with him, and I also told the Juve managers that he was a rotten apple. As far as I’m concerned, the problem is not whether you play well or badly, but if you have nothing positive inside. Once it may go well, but if this attitude is recurring then no.”

The 35-year-old Italian defender then spoke about his sporting hatred of Inter, although he confirmed that it was only a hatred on the pitch.

“In a sporting way I hate Inter, just like Michael Jordan hated the Pistons. Sporting hatred is the factor that makes us give that extra something to overcome the opponent. If you give it the right meaning it is an essential component of sport. Off the pitch, however, everything was different and one of the messages that gave me the most pleasure when I injured my knee was from Javier Zanetti.”

Finally, Chiellini discussed the potential restart of the Serie A season and how playing behind closed doors without fans could affect the players.

“I have no idea if the season will restart. When I think of three months of games without fans, I don’t feel like it. It will take a superhuman mental strength, but it’s our job and we’ll have to adapt, as we are doing in every area of our lives.”

Serie A teams have been given the go ahead to return to their training centres earlier this week, with squads being forced to split up and train individually. This will allow them to slowly regain fitness, whilst also ensuring the safety of all the staff and players. After a few weeks, a return to squad training is expected, ahead of a potential restart at the beginning of June.