Leonardo Bonucci: iconic Italian player and 2020 Euros winner announces retirement from professional football

Iconic Italian player and 2020 Euros winner, Leonardo Bonucci, announces retirement. Picture: Getty ImagesIconic Italian player and 2020 Euros winner, Leonardo Bonucci, announces retirement. Picture: Getty Images
Iconic Italian player and 2020 Euros winner, Leonardo Bonucci, announces retirement. Picture: Getty Images | Getty Images
Footballing icon and 2020 Euros winner, Leonardo Bonucci, has officially announced his retirement.

Italian football legend and Euro 2020 winner Leonardo Bonucci has officially announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 37, having spent almost 20 years as an active player.

He played his last game on Sunday, May 26, when he came on as a substitute for Fenerbahce in a comprehensive 6-0 victory over İstanbulspor at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.

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Bonucci featured for several top clubs over the course of his career, including AC Milan and Inter Milan - he also enjoyed two separate stints at Juventus. He spent most of his career in Italy, but also turned out for the likes of Union Berlin and Fenerbahce.

Perhaps Bonucci’s crowning moment came when he won the 2020 Euros, defeating England at Wembley Stadium in the final - after falling behind early on, he was on hand to net an equaliser. They eventually won on penalties - Bonucci was one of the spot-kick takers and calmly slotted his effort home.

Bonucci announced his retirement in a post on social media, in which he wrote: “As a child, I dreamed of this story I would tell, promising myself achievements to embrace against the biggest, celebrating, having faith through difficulties with courage. A father, a team-mate, a husband, a player. Beyond. Beyond history today, I am me.”

Juventus also issued a statement following Bonucci’s announcement, which reads: “A player who formed an enormous part of our recent history has decided to leave the world of football.

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“Leonardo Bonucci has decided to retire from football, an announcement that touches us deeply, because Leo has his name etched into the Juventus archives: 502 matches played in the black and white jersey, with eight league titles, four Italian Cups and five Italian Super Cups.

“A pillar and one of the 'B's' of the BBC, a defensive trio that has written so many legendary pages, Bonucci shared 12 seasons with us. We said goodbye last September, but the thread that binds us cannot be broken. Not even now that Leo has decided to embark on a new chapter in his life, for which we wish him only the best.”