Giorgio Chiellini only intends to play for "a couple more years" and will then turn his focus to a directorial role, with the Juventus defender not interested in coaching.
Chiellini, 35, has been out of action since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in August and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out until March. However, the centre-back is confident of recovering in good time to lead Italy at Euro 2020, which could be his final international tournament after expressing a desire to retire in two years.
Chiellini is keen to stay in football but does not see himself coaching, although the former Livorno man is happy to stay patient.
"[I will play] a couple of years — not more," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport . "I would like to have a managerial career as a director. [I am approaching it] with great calm because I think that the biggest mistake us footballers make once our careers are over is to think of being immediately ready.
"When you retire, for the luckiest between 35 and 40, you think you know everything about football. But then you enter the world of work where those of your age have done at least 15 years at a good level.
'One step a day'
"And even if you go one step below, you find people who are 10 years younger than you but 10 years more experienced. So you have a gap to compensate and you have to be humbly aware of it.
"You have an important know-how from a footballing point of view, but you have to put in the other pieces. It's like a puzzle. You don't have to be in a hurry. One step a day."
Asked about coaching, Chiellini replied: "It is nice to pick a squad or train players for 30 minutes, but I do not like the life of a coach. Choosing a system is no longer enough, coaches have to be psychologists and motivational leaders too. Directors can be like an administrator of a company that has to manage at least 50 or 60 people. It is an all-encompassing life, accepting pressure and sacrifices of all kinds. It's not a kind of responsibility that I feel inside me now."
Discussing his Euro 2020 prospects, he added: "Yes, [I will be there] if nothing happens. I will arrive nice and fresh. [Italy coach Roberto] Mancini called me the night I got hurt, and I said to him, 'Coach, I will be back in the spring. When June comes, I will be as fresh as a rose.'
"Playing as captain of Juve and the national team, with 500 games for Juve and 100 for the national team, it gives you a different serenity. I would like to enjoy the Euros like I am enjoying the final wonderful years as a footballer."
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