Bonucci says next football season will be his last
Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci has announced that he would retire at the end of the next football season.
Defender Bonucci has just turned 36 with one year left on his Juventus contract.
“When I stop playing next year, it will be the end of a defensive era – a way of defending Italian style,” Bonucci said on Juventus’ YouTube channel.
The 120-times capped Bonucci was part of Italy’s Euro 2020-winning team and is a nine-time Serie A champion.
He won eight titles at Juventus and one at AC Milan, where he spent the 2017/2018 season.
Bonucci made his 500th Juventus appearance against Sevilla in the Europa League last week.
Recognised as one of football’s great defenders, he was part of the famous Juventus backline that included Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon.
This was when the Bianconeri won eight titles between the 2011/2012 and 2019/2020 seasons.
“It’s a source of pride to be up there with the greatest,” Bonucci said.
“I hope lots of future defenders – just as we had with (Franco) Baresi, (Alessandro) Nesta, (Paolo) Maldini, (Fabio) Cannavaro will see us four as idols.
“It would mean we have achieved a lot and given the game a lot.”