Leonardo Bonucci said that he would retire from football at the end of the season 2022/23. He will retire after an 18-year career in which he established himself as one of the game’s finest defenders.
The 36-year-old has had a trophy-laden career and has become an Italy and Juventus icon.
Bonucci hopes to win the Europa League with Juventus this season before embarking on his final season in professional football.
Bonucci announced his retirement from football in 2024 in a series of interviews to honor his 500th Juventus appearance.
After highlighting the effect of former goalie Gianluigi Buffon, Bonucci announces his desire to retire from sport after a stellar career with Juventus.
‘When I retire next year, it will mark the end of a defensive period, a method of defending Italian style,’ Bonucci said.
‘Being up there with the best is a source of pride for me. I hope that many future defenders, like Baresi, Maldini, Nesta, and Cannavaro, look up to us four as idols.
‘It would indicate we accomplished a lot and gave a lot to the game,’ he continued.
Bonucci made his Juventus debut in 2010. He made it in the starting lineup for a Europa League match against Irish team Shamrock Rovers.
He has subsequently made 500 appearances for the Italian giants, with his most recent appearance coming as a substitute in a recent tie with Sevilla.
Leonardo Bonucci to retire after 2022/23 Season Ends
Bonucci is a member of a great Italy and Juventus defense alongside centre-back partner Giorgio Chiellini. Chiellini, the veteran defender departed Juventus last year to finish his career in the MLS.
The pair have had significant success together at both the international and club levels, with their most recent major accomplishment being leading Italy to a Euro final victory against England in 2021.
Bonucci has won the Italian top division eight times with Juventus. He has also won four Italian Cups and five Super Cups throughout an illustrious career.
Bonucci enraged Juventus fans by leaving for rivals Milan in 2017 before returning in a swap deal a year later.
During his last season, the staunch defender will be trying to assist Juventus end their quest for a first Champions League trophy since 1996.
He came close in 2017. But fell just short as Juventus were defeated 4-1 in the final by Real Madrid. Madrid were guided to victory by a Cristiano Ronaldo brace.
Bonucci will be looking to assist Juventus reach another European final. They will face Sevilla in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.