Leonardo Bonucci ‘will convince’ Italy defensive partner Giorgio Chiellini to delay any retirement plans by helping the Azzurri’s bid to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after becoming European champions in win over England
- Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are Italian defensive stalwarts
- Duo have been paired together with the Azzurri for over a decade
- But there are concerns Chiellini will retire next summer before World Cup
- Juventus defender will be 38 once the tournament gets underway in winter 2022
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Leonardo Bonucci insists he will do everything he can to convince his centre-back partner Giorgio Chiellini to help Italy towards winning the World Cup at next year’s finals in Qatar.
Bonucci and Chiellini have been playing together for the Azzurri for over a decade and their pairing in the centre of defence was crucial in guiding Italy to win the European Championship for the first time since 1968 on Sunday.
Bonucci was on target for Italy to equalise in a 1-1 draw with England at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final, before they saw off Gareth Southgate’s men 3-2 on penalty kicks following extra time.
Giorgio Chiellini celebrates helping Italy defeat England in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final
Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci (right) celebrate with the trophy in Rome on Monday
Despite picking up the first of his 112 caps in 2004, Chiellini was not part of the 2006 side that became world champions and may look to sign off his career in Qatar at the age of 38 for the tournament to be held at the end of 2022.
Chiellini is poised to sign a new one-year deal at Juventus to extend his stay until next summer when he could then retire.
But Bonucci, who with 109 caps will be 35 for the World Cup, claims he will do what he can to convince his long time team-mate to line up alongside him next year.
Bonucci’s goal brought an equaliser against England on their way to victory and he now wishes he can continue to play alongside Chiellini at next year’s World Cup
Italy’s penalty shootout hero Gianluigi Donnarumma has also backed Chiellini to continue
Bonucci and Chiellini have been defensive partners for Italy going back to 2010
‘I’ll convince him we are going on holiday together, so I will convince him no worries,’ he told Sky Sport Italia in the celebrations at Wembley on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who gatecrashed the interview, was also convinced by the prospect of Bonucci and Chiellini continuing at the back, replying with ‘of course, of course’ when asked about the prospect of the pair continuing
However Chiellini, was less than convinced, jokingly insisting he didn’t even know if he would still be able to run on Monday after the Euro 2020 success.
He said: ‘I don’t even know if I’ll be able to run tomorrow, so calm…, Leo and Gigio will be there for sure…’
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