Friday August 18 2017
Barzagli: ‘Bonucci not crucial’

Andrea Barzagli admits Leonardo Bonucci was “very important” for Juventus, but not like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.

Bonucci and Barzagli formed two-thirds of the famous ‘BBC’ defence alongside Giorgio Chiellini, but Bonucci joined Milan this summer for a €40m fee.

“The two players who left were important,” Barzagli admitted in an interview with Premium Sport, also referring to Dani Alves.

“Among other things Bonucci spent seven years at Juve and was very important.

“In a squad though there are 23 players and 11 go on the field, no-one has ever destabilised or made the difference, except [Diego] Maradona or maybe Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

“One or two players can’t shift the balance, the new players and the veterans have to come back with the right mind to tackle the league again.”

The Bianconeri have won the Scudetto for the past six seasons in a row, but Barzagli expects more of a challenge this season.

“This season the bar has been raised again, there are teams that have strengthened a lot and teams that have stayed together and have an important mentality, like Napoli.

“Then there’s a team like ours who are facing a seventh season after six Scudetti in a row, and this will be the toughest season for so many of us, because winning is never easy.

“Winning is very difficult, and after six years it’s even harder. To do it you need to be motivated and focused.

“We know that and we’ve been told that. I think Juve always have the customary objectives.”

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