Monday April 18 2016
Bonucci: ‘Juventus should be applauded’

Leonardo Bonucci says Juventus’ rivals should “praise a team that is making history” rather than engage in conspiracies.

The Bianconeri have stretched their lead at the top of Serie A to nine points, and seem all-but certain to retain the Scudetto for the fifth season in a row.

Second-placed Napoli have complained about refereeing and the scheduling of their matches, but the defender says they’d be better off praising the achievements of the Old Lady.

“I think when a team like Juve recovers 20 points on the second team in the League there’s not much point clinging to futile excuses,” Bonucci insisted in an interview with Tuttosport.

“Instead they should just clap their hands and praise a team that is making history, but that’s very unlikely to happen in Italy.

“We continue on our way, we’ll keep going to the end to prove once again that Juventus are the strongest.”

Claudio Marchisio suffered a cruciate ligament injury in yesterday’s win over Palermo, why have Juve had so many injuries?

“He’s a big loss both on and off the pitch, Claudio is one of the leaders of Juventus and the national team.

“Now it’s up to us to win the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia and dedicate it to him and [Martin] Caceres, because they deserve it.

“It’ been an intense year, because we started badly which meant we had to expend a lot of energy to recover points we dropped.

“But there’s definitely something not going your way when you have so many injuries, and improving the situation is on everyone’s mind, we have to find causes and solutions.”

Juventus have conceded just 17 goals in 33 games, and Bonucci feels it’s very much a team effort.

“Well, for a start we’re lucky enough to have the best goalkeeper in the world,” the defender said, in praise of Gianluigi Buffon.

“Then there’s the defensive contribution of [Mario] Mandzukic, then [Paulo] Dybala and the other attackers. They’re the first line of defence.”