Chiellini and Messi: Italy and Argentina winning captains available as free agents

Giorgio Chiellini and Lionel Messi are Italy and Argentina’s triumphant captains, but curiously both of them lifted their first major honours with their respective countries while out of contract.

Both players saw the contracts with their clubs expire on June 30, 2022, weeks before the EURO 2020 and the Copa America Final.

The Azzurri became European champions on July 11 by beating England on penalties in the EURO 2020 Final.

Only a few hours beforehand, Argentina had beaten Brazil in Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracanà stadium thanks to an Angel Di Maria lob.

Both Chiellini and Messi lifted their first international trophies while out of contract.

They are both expected to sign contract extensions with their clubs but, as of today, they are still available as free agents.

Barcelona are trying to free up wages before announcing Messi’s contract extension, while Chiellini is expected to pen a new one-year deal with the Bianconeri upon his return from holidays.

“It takes two to sign a contract,” the Italian’s agent Davide Lippi told Radio Radio earlier this week.

“Giorgio went to the Euros and focused exclusively on that. There’s no problem with Juventus, we said we’d meet up later in the summer, but we haven’t yet sat down to discuss a renewal.”

Chiellini joined Juventus in 2005 and played 535 games with the Old Lady. Messi has spent his entire career at Barcelona, scoring 672 goals in 778 games with the Catalans.

Chiellini and Messi are expected to meet on the pitch in December or January as UEFA and Conmebol are in talks to organize an Intercontinental Cup for nations at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples.

By that time, both Chiellini and Messi should have signed new deals with their clubs.