Leonardo Bonucci

Iconic Italy defender calls time on an illustrious 19-year career

Iconic Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has announced retirement from professional football after 19 years of playing the game. Famous for his time at Juventus, Bonucci ended his career after a brief spell playing for Fenerbahce in Turkey.

Leonardo Bonucci Retirement: Legendary defender calls time on career

Bonucciโ€™s announcement came on May 29, having made his last professional appearance for Fenerbahce on May 26.

The Italian was on the bench until the 64th minute and came on with his team already holding a comfortable 3-0 lead. They ended up winning 6-0 in that match against Istanbulspor but it was not enough as Galatasaray won their game against Konyaspor 3-1 to clinch the Super Lig title.

Leonardo Bonucci started the current season playing for Union Berlin, for whom he made 10 appearances, also scoring one goal in the process. He joined Fenerbahce on a six-month deal in January and made 13 appearances, providing one assist.

Currently at the ripe old age of 37, the accomplished Italian has decided it is the right time to step away from the professional game.

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Leonardo Bonucci Retirment: A career overview

Born in Viterbo in Italy in May 1987, Leonardo Bonucci joined professional youth football quite late aged 17, when he signed with hometown club Viterbese. He was loaned out to Inter Milan without making an appearance for his team, and later joined the Nerazzurriโ€™s U20 side.

Within six years of starting his career, Bonucci climbed through the ranks of Italian football and was signed by Juventus from Genoa in 2010 for โ‚ฌ15.5 million. He was fast-tracked into the first-team alongside Giorgio Chiellini and made 44 appearances across competitions in his first season, scoring three goals and providing one assist.

He spent a total of 12 years at Juventus divided into two stints of seven and five years, respectively, with one season (2017/18) at AC Milan in between. Bonucci made a total of 502 appearances for Juventus and scored 37 goals and provided 10 assists. He is one of the most decorated defender in the clubโ€™s history, having won 17 trophies at the club.

Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci during his time with Juventus. (Getty Images)

Bonucci is an eight-time Serie A winner, a four-time Coppa Italia winner, and has also won the Supercoppa Italiana five times โ€“ all with Juve. He has also won one Serie A title with Inter Milan.

He made his national team debut in 2010 and went on to make a total of 121 appearances for his nation, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists in the process. He won the Euro 2020 with Italy and also finished as runner-up in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and third in the 2020/21 & 2022/23 UEFA Nations League.

Individually, he was voted into Serie Aโ€™s Team of the Year four times, and also made it to FIFA FIFPro World 11 twice. He was named Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2015-16.

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