Former Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci has revealed the unsettling details behind his departure from the club in a recent interview with Sport Mediaset.
The 36-year-old central defender, who has been a stalwart for Juventus over the years, discussed the circumstances that led to his exit and the legal action he is taking against the club.
Bonucci’s departure from Juventus raised eyebrows, especially given his long-standing association with the club. He expressed his dismay at feeling humiliated by the club’s leadership, including coach Massimiliano Allegri, Technical Director Cristiano Giuntoli, and Sporting Director Giovanni Manna.
In the interview, Leonardo Bonucci disputed claims made by the club about when he was informed of his situation. He stated, “I’ve read and heard many things that are not true, I’d like to start from afar. From that date mentioned several times by Juventus and the coach, when they said that they had made me aware of what was then the situation of this season already in October last year.” He went on to assert that he was offered a contract renewal in October but was later told he would not be part of Juventus’ plans in February 2023.
The defender also discussed his legal action against Juventus, alleging that the club violated the collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association by isolating him from the squad and training separately. Bonucci asserted, “My rights stipulated that I should have trained with the team regardless of the technical choice and been put in a position to physically and athletically face the following season.”
Despite the ongoing legal battle, Leonardo Bonucci made it clear that his decision is not driven by financial gain. He expressed his intention to donate any winnings from the case to charity. Additionally, he emphasized his desire for his situation to highlight the importance of the Italian Footballers’ Association (AIC) in supporting players facing similar circumstances.
When asked about his future, Bonucci revealed that he aspires to return to Juventus as a coach someday. He mentioned, “Surely Juventus, when I become a coach, will not be the one of today and maybe there will be a way, one day, to re-embrace the fans, to greet them and make them understand how important Juventus was for me.”
The interview shed light on the emotional and professional turmoil that Leonardo Bonucci experienced during his departure from Juventus. It also highlighted the complex relationship between players and clubs in the world of football and the significance of player associations in protecting players’ rights.