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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    Allegri has faced heightened scrutiny over his long-term prospects at the Turin club after a poor run of form.

    The Old Lady hit the Serie A summit in January but have struggled for victories in recent months and almost suffered a painful defeat to old boss Claudio Ranieri.

    Cagliari raced into a two-goal lead after they were awarded two first-half penalties, which Gianluca Gaetano and Yerry Mina dispatched.

    However, Ranieri was denied a victory as Dusan Vlahovic pulled one back before Alberto Dossena put through his own net with three minutes left to leave Juventus in third position with Bologna and Roma breathing down their neck after winning only two of their last 12 league matches.

    Allegri made two changes in an attempt to arrest Juve’s stuttering form with Carlos Alcaraz and Timothy Weah handed starting opportunities.

    It failed to have the desired impact with Cagliari able to quickly take control of the contest with away stopper Wojciech Szczesny the busier of the two goalkeepers.

    After a strong start, the hosts were rewarded with the chance to go ahead on the half an hour mark when Bremer was penalised for handball after a header by Dossena.

    Gaetano fired into the bottom corner from 12yards but not long after the celebrations had finished at Stadio Unipol Domus the hosts were awarded a second spot-kick.

    Szczesny was the guilty party on this occasion after he brought down Zito Luvumbo and received a caution for his foul. Former Everton defender Mina stepped up and sent Szczesny the wrong way to spark jubilant celebrations in Sardinia.

    Juventus did have the ball in the net before half-time, but Vlahovic’s tap-in was ruled out for offside and the deficit remained at two.

    Kenan Yildiz was sent on by Allegri for the second half and the visitors did pull one back in the 61st minute.

    Federico Chiesa and Vlahovic stood over a free-kick and the latter curled a delivery around the wall for his 17th goal of the season.

    It provided hope for Juve and the next roll of the dice by Allegri was the introduce Weston McKennie and Arkadiusz Milik.

    Juve upped the ante during the final exchanges but when Vlahovic volleyed over from close range, it looked like time might run out.

    However, Allegri’s side found an equaliser with three minutes left when Dossena put the ball into his own net after a dangerous cross by Yildiz.

    Yildiz almost produced a stoppage-time winner too but fired straight at Simone Scuffer late on as the points were shared.

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    Roma doubled their lead in the 22nd minute.

    Romelu Lukaku showed great strength to barge past Gabbia and into the left side of the penalty area. Although the Milan defender recovered to stab Lukaku’s cross away, the ball fell to Dybala, who curled it into the far bottom corner.

    Belgian forward Lukaku then sustained an injury and was replaced by Tammy Abraham in the 29th minute.

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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.

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    “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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