Italy and Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci has announced he will retire from football at the end of next season.
The 36-year-old won eight Serie A titles in two spells at the Italian club and made his 500th appearance. against Sevilla last week.
He also has 120 international caps and was part of the Italian team that beat England will win Euro 2020 in July 2021.
“Wearing this jersey has been like living a dream for 12 years,” he told Juventus. Youtube channel.
“Everything I’ve done has been for a shirt that feels like a second skin to me.
“There is still a little boy inside who is so happy to wear this shirt and go out on the pitch because it was his dream – a dream come true.”
Bonucci, whose contract expires next season, started his career at Inter Milan in 2005, where he won their first Serie A title in 2005-06.
The defender also had stints at Treviso, Pisa, Genoa and Bari before joining Juventus in 2010, part of a famous Juve backline with Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who dominated the Italian football for a decade.
The Turin giants won nine successive titles between 2011-12 and 2019-20, with Bonucci claiming eight after spending a season at AC Milan in 2017-18.
Bonucci made his Italy debut in March 2010 and captained the team for the first time four years later.
He represented the Azzurri at two World Cups and three European Championships, finishing runners-up at Euro 2012 before lifting the trophy nine years later after a penalty shoot-out win over England at Wembley.
“When I stop playing next year it will be the end of a defensive era – an Italian way of defending,” he added.
“It’s a source of pride to be up there with the greats. I hope a lot of future defenders see us as idols – just like we did with (Franco) Baresi, (Alessandro) Nesta , (Paolo) Maldini and (Fabio) Cannavaro.
“It would mean that we have achieved a lot and given a lot to the game.”