Retirement for 2024! Leonardo Bonucci looks back on his 500 appearances with Juventus |Juventus-fr.com
Sunday evening during the 2-1 success against the Cremonese team in the league, Leonardo Bonucci exceeded the symbolic bar of 500 games played in the jersey of Juventus. A figure that says a lot about the 36-year-old Italian central defender and this totally crazy performance which allows him to join legends such as Alessandro Del Piero (705), Gianluigi Buffon (685) or Giorgio Chiellini with his 507 caps.
Legend of the Old Lady, he confided in the official Juventus website in order to come back to this incredible record and exceptional longevity.
500 caps with Juventus, what does that mean for you?
“Entering this locker room is like taking a child to the carousel. It is an exciting feeling and too beautiful to describe. When you are a child and you run after the ball, you dream of wearing a shirt like this of Juve. To succeed 500 times means that we have entered the history of Juve and it is a great emotion. With my eyes wide open, I admired the many supporters who surrounded us and, as I ran, I said to myself “Am I dreaming or is it true?
What memories do you have of the Champions League final lost in 2015 against FC Barcelona 3 goals to 1?
“We started playing football to experience these matches. We met the strongest Barcelona in history, and against Real we underestimated things. Everyone thought we were favourites, but against Real Madrid, you are never favourites, and when you concede a goal like Casemiro’s, it breaks your legs. lunch. Before these matches, you feel like a lion in a cage, eager to play this match.”
And the BBC of the great era (Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini)
“The BBC built the great adventure of nine consecutive championships. The first time we stepped onto the pitch together was with Delneri and I think each of us benefited from that. A unique friendship was born even in off the pitch and I, who was the youngest, was able to learn a lot from Andrea, Giorgio and Gigi. The real intuition came from Conte, with whom we built the first victories of this cycle. Giorgio was special, I was the grumpy one, he was always calm and quiet. He made me think a lot. A special friendship was created and we shared many moments, even off the pitch. Like Andrea, I spent my time alongside two people who gave me so much and I hope I left the same to them. Together we did something that will go down in footballing history.”
Is it an honor to wear the captain’s armband?
“It’s a big responsibility to wear the captain’s armband at Juve. It’s a club that’s over 100 years old and you have to defend it. I already felt that in the Sarri year, when Giorgio was away for a long time, and I knew what that meant. You understand how heavy it is to wear that shirt and that armband. It’s one thing to be a protagonist and another to be a captain, I had examples like Giorgio, Gigi or Alex. I hope to be a reference for the fans.”
The end of your adventure with Juventus is approaching, what image do you want to leave behind?
“When I stop playing next year, I think an era of defense will come to an end and for me it’s a source of pride to have been there. I hope that one day many young people will will take as idols, for that would mean giving much.”
A final word on another legend Gianluigi Buffon
“Gigi is number one, even in serious moments he always manages to make you laugh. It’s so beautiful to see and hear the words of these friends, of these leading people that football and life gave me. We spent hours talking, always looking for that little something extra, we were two crazy people. Someone who at his age is still playing at a high level, means that you are crazy and I was always ready with him. I have to say thank you to Juve because I spent most games with Buffon behind me and I hadn’t even dreamed of that when I was a kid.”
📹 𝐁𝐨𝐧𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐢 𝟓𝟎𝟎 🦁@bonucci_leo19 live the 500 presenze con la Juventus attraverso 19 momenti indimenticabili ⚪️⚫️
— Juventus FC (@juventusfc) May 16, 2023