Allegri confirms Bonucci will be new Juventus captain

By Sports Desk May 15, 2022

Leonardo Bonucci will be the new captain of Juventus following the announced departure of Giorgio Chiellini, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The Bianconeri head coach was speaking ahead of Juve's final home game of the season against Lazio and said he wants to "combine all three things", referring to playing well while saying goodbye to outgoing duo Chiellini and Paulo Dybala.

Chiellini confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season following their 4-2 defeat to Inter in the Coppa Italia final.

The veteran centre-back has spent 17 years with the Bianconeri, winning 20 trophies during his time in Turin.

Dybala is also exiting the Allianz Stadium at the end of the campaign and has been linked with the likes of Inter, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United.

"It's the last home game, you have to honour it to the fullest. And then it's Giorgio Chiellini's party and Paulo Dybala's last [game], we have to combine all three things," Allegri told reporters at a media conference on Sunday.

"They are two different things. Giorgio stops or has an experience in America, I don't know. Paulo changes team. Both will have the tribute of the fans, as I believe will [Lazio boss, Maurizio] Sarri, who returns and was the last [head coach] to win the Scudetto with Juve."

As for Juve's next skipper, Allegri added: "The new Juventus captain will be Bonucci."

The former Milan boss was also asked about Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a return to Juve once his contract at Manchester United expires next month.

"Pogba is a United player. Before talking about the transfer market, let's finish the season and then we'll take stock with the club," he said. "We don't have to evaluate not only the market but also what happened during the season at 360 degrees.

"[Do I] remember Paul? I have already forgotten, several years have already passed. I have a full memory card."

Allegri was asked to summarise the season, with Juve qualifying for the Champions League but never really challenging in the Serie A title race.

"I'm satisfied with the path and the goal, but not satisfied to have not won a trophy," he said.

"The team has done its best. Even if I always say, 'let's play with those who are here', in the long run we have paid for traumatic injuries: [Federico] Chiesa, [Weston] McKennie, Danilo, Bonucci… We have players who will certainly grow, then with the club we will improve the shortcomings of this team."

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    Juventus are well positioned to secure Champions League qualification for next season, while Cagliari are just four points above the drop zone ahead of Thursday’s contest at the Unipol Domus.

    The Bianconeri next take on Lazio in the Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday, holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

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    “Of their eight wins this season, six have come at home and 23 of the 31 points they’ve got have been picked up at home,” Allegri told a press conference.

    “They’re a team who score a lot of goals in the last 15 minutes of games and particularly with players who come off the bench, they have scored more goals with substitutes than anybody else.

    “We know it will be a tough game, so our very best version will have to show up. We won’t be rotating ahead of the Italian Cup, the most important game is Cagliari, then we’ll focus on the cup.

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    Juventus still have clashes against top-four rivals AC Milan, Roma and Bologna ahead of them in the next few weeks.

    “It’s important to stay focused on the next month or so,” Allegri added. “We have a lot of difficult games to come. A win at this stage is almost worth double.”

    Cagliari have lost just once in their last eight matches to ease relegation fears and twice hit back from a goal down to claim a surprise point at Inter Milan on Sunday.

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    Duvan Zapata thought he had given Torino the lead when he crashed the ball home shortly after half-time, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foul committed by Raoul Bellanova against Juve’s Filip Kostic.

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    The Bianconeri enter their Turin derby against Torino on Saturday sat in third place but knowing that the performance of Serie A sides in Europe this season means that as many as five could qualify for the 2024-25 Champions League.

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