Italian football is never short of drama. Be it the Calciopoli scandal, financial irregularities, marquee transfers, or the latest Paul Pogba doping episode, Serie A is always at the front and centre of football’s consciousness. Now, Leonardo Bonucci is making waves despite not being in Italy anymore!
Bonucci is suing Juventus, the club where he ascended into the elite bracket of players, for breaking the collective agreement with the Italian Association of Footballers.
So, how did one of world football’s most successful marriages turn into this public legal battle? Does Bonucci have a genuine ground to stand on?
Here’s all you need to know about why Leonardo Bonucci is suing Juventus-
Leonardo Bonucci Juventus case
The story begins in the summer of 2023.
Leonardo Bonucci had just come off his least influential season for Juventus in the league, making only 16 league appearances. This was the lowest mark of his career in Serie A, for either AC Milan or Juventus.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri clearly didn’t rate him anymore and from then onwards began a game of poker.
Bonucci was forced to train separately from the rest of the squad as Allegri made his feelings clear. This is a ploy often used by clubs to accelerate the exits of players but The Old Lady weren’t done yet.
Bonucci alleges that not only was he training separately from the squad, but he was also training at a completely different time, ensuring all communication was cut off.
He never met the technical staff, and even a part of the training facilities was restricted for him.
The Italian CB claims that all these actions by Juventus cost him massively, as his body was in no way ready to take the field and compete due to below-par treatment by the club.
Bonucci eventually moved to newly-minted UEFA Champions League team Union Berlin on a free transfer but a critical lack of match fitness and advancing age has rendered him unable to make a debut so far in the league.
What happens next?
Bonucci’s lawyers, Antonio Conte (not that one, obviously) and Gabriele Zuccheretti will file a legal action against the club.
The player intends to donate all his winnings, if he wins, to Live Onlus, an NGO which buys and donates defibrillators for sports clubs, schools and municipalities, and Neuroland, which supports families of children hospitalized in Turin.
It remains to be seen if Bonucci emerges victorious in his case because Juventus have declared that they intend to fight it tooth and nail.
They’ve released a statement that they’re ready to defend their position and reaffirmed that every registered player at their club has their rights fully guaranteed by the collective agreement.
A judgement on this case could be a landmark moment for football as this is a ploy used often by clubs.