It has been that way for years for Italy, of course. Chiellini made his national team debut in 2004; Bonucci, only two years younger but a much later bloomer, joined him in 2010. Between them, they now have made 219 appearances for their country, the vast majority of them in tandem. They are so inseparable, at both club and international level, that one of Google’s suggested searches for them is: “Are Chiellini and Bonucci related?”
They are not, but even they admit they may as well be. “I think I know Bonucci better than I know my wife,” Chiellini has said.