28 July 2015
Leonardo Bonucci has today committed his long-term future to Juventus, renewing his contract for another five years which will keep him with the club until 2020
Few players have taken their game to the next level in the same way as Bonucci since he joined Juventus from Bari five years ago in 2010.
The defender’s consistency at the back and his unrelenting year on year improvement have cemented his place at the heart of the Bianconeri’s defence as well as making him a permanent fixture at international level.
Leo has increasingly become an indispensable member of Juve’s backline. After making 44 appearances, scoring once, in his first season in the famous black and white jersey, he followed it up with a Scudetto triumph in 2011/12, appearing on 37 occasions and even contributing at the other end, a feature of his time in Turin, netting three times.
2012/13 saw the Viterbo born defender build on his burgeoning reputation, adding another league title and Italian Super Cup to his growing trophy cabinet. The following season was more of the same as he once more scored three times in 44 appearances, picking up another trio of honours.
Last term though was the versatile centre-half’s finest in a Juventus shirt. The Old Lady’s number 19 featured 52 times, scoring four, on his way to another Scudetto, a Coppa Italia triumph, the club’s tenth, and a starting place in the Champions League final in the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Bonucci receiving the ball from his goalkeeper, carrying it out of defence and picking a pass into midfield, could be the scene from any one of his 225 appearances for the reigning Italian champions.
Fearless in the tackle, possessing a fine tactical mind and confident with the ball at his feet, Leo has all the attributes required of a top, international defender.
A closer look: Allegri's key man
The defender's contributions on the field to the Bianconeri last season speak for themselves: with him in the side, Juventus won 70.6 per cent of games played, but without him that figure slipped to 50 per cent.
- With Bonucci at the heart of their defence, Juve conceded an average of 0.6 goals a game in the 2014/15 season, without him that figure more than doubled to 1.3.
- No one in Italy played more minutes than Leo last season (4695) in all competitions.
- The defender broke his record for wins in a season set in 2013/14 (31), as he guided his side to 34 victories in all competitions last term.
Following the recent contract renewals of fellow key Italian Juventus team-mates such as Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio, it was only a matter of time before the club moved to secure the future of one of their most consistent and reliable performers.
The strength of a side is not always based entirely on its success in attracting new arrivals, it is also the ability to secure the futures of its most important players in the prime years of their careers, as Bonnuci is at the age of 28.
Congratulations Leo and here’s to another five years in the black and white of Juventus.