Legendary Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini identifies Inter Milan star Alessandro Bastoni as the best Italian defender at the moment.
During his heyday, the 39-year-old was one of the best centre-backs of his generation and arguably the number one in Serie A.
But following an 18-month spell with MLS side Los Angeles FC, Chiellini has recently decided to call it a day.
However, when it comes to the new generation, the retired star believes that Bastoni is head and shoulders ahead of the rest.
“Bastoni is by far the best Italian defender. He’s one of the top five in Europe in his age,” said Chiellini in his appearance on Sky Sport Italia via FcInterNews.
“Alessandro’s characteristics are above all technical. He’s also still developing in other areas. Antonio Conte was the first to help him grow.”
Moreover, Chiellini considers Francesco Acerbi as the best pure marker in Italian football.
“Acerbi is from my generation. He is the best Italian marker, without a doubt.
“He has improved a lot. Last season, he had an amazing campaign. I remember his great performance while marking Haaland in the Champions League final.”
Giorgio Chiellini Crowns Inter Star Alessandro Bastoni As Best Italian Defender
The former Italy captain also applauds Inter for acquiring confidence following their appearance in the Champions League, while reserving special praise for Lautaro Martinez.
“After the Champions League final, the team acquired that serenity, that decisive maturity. They let you play but then attack you and win the match.
“Lautaro is one of those growth factors I was talking about. There are some players who thrive when given responsibilities, and he is one of them.
“Lukaku’s farewell and the captaincy have made him responsible and he improved quite a lot.
“In Lautaro’s growth, there is also a World Cup triumph. Though he didn’t experience it as a protagonist, but it gave him something important.
“Marusic’s mistake was easy to read, but not everyone knows how to exploit it.”