Skip to main content

Bonucci not crucial like Maradona, Messi or Ronaldo - Barzagli

While important to Juventus, Andrea Barzagli said the Serie A champions can cope without defender Leonardo Bonucci, insisting he is not crucial like Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Italy international centre-back Bonucci sensationally quit Juventus for Italian rivals AC Milan in a stunning €42million deal in July.

The 30-year-old helped Juve to six consecutive Serie A titles, as well two Champions League runners-up medals during his time in Turin.

But Barzagli said former team-mate Bonucci is replaceable as he backed Juve to continue their success.

"The two players who left [Bonucci and Dani Alves for Paris Saint-Germain] were important," Barzagli told Premium Sport.

"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."

Juve open their title defence Saturday at home to Cagliari, while Bonucci's Milan travel to Crotone on Sunday.