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Leonardo Bonucci rejected Real Madrid for Juventus return

Leonardo Bonucci (right) returned to Juventus after one season at Milan

Bengaluru, February 20: Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he turned down Real Madrid in order to rejoin Serie A champions Juventus from AC Milan last summer.

Following seven seasons at Juventus from 2010 to 2017, Bonucci made the switch to AC Milan for the 2017-18 season.

Despite making 51 appearances and signing an initial five-year deal at San Siro, Bonucci made a quick switch back to Turin to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for the current 2018-19 campaign.

The Italian international has slotted straight back into the club’s starting line-up under Massimiliano Allegri, with the defender playing an essential role in the side’s current undefeated record in the league.

But returning to Juventus was not his only option, with the 31-year-old admitting he turned down the chance to join La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer and the chance to play at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Real Madrid's interest? Yes, it's true, Real Madrid were interested in me,” Bonucci told AS.

“It was an honour and pleasure for me, it means that I have worked well in these years.

“But the call from Juventus and the desire to return home was fundamental, I decided that the Bianconeri colours fit me better.”

The defender also revealed it was not just for footballing reasons that he opted for a return to his former club after just one season playing for Milan.

Bonucci stated his six-year-old son played a pivotal role in his switch back to Juventus, with his family still based in Turin.

“How did my son Lorenzo react? He's happy because dad came home,” he added.

“Last year I was almost always in Milan and he could not see me. It was one of the reasons why I came back.”

The Italy international has made 26 appearances this season and looks on course to win his seventh Serie A title as Juventus currently hold a 13-point lead at the top of the table.

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Story first published: Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 11:53 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 20, 2019
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