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Bonucci calls Demiral’s move to Atalanta ‘the right thing’

Leonardo Bonucci praised former teammate Merih Demiral and highlighted that the Azzurri squad are still reeling from their World Cup play-off disaster.

Italy suffered a horrific 1-0 loss to North Macedonia at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo last week, ending their hopes of qualifying for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Roberto Mancini’s side will now face Turkey in a relatively meaningless friendly match tomorrow evening.

Speaking to TRT Sport, Bonucci first discussed his former teammate Merih Demiral, who he’ll likely be facing tomorrow.

“Merih is a great person and a great professional. He needs to play to improve, he did the right thing by going to Atalanta.”

He then reflected on the play-off loss to North Macedonia.

“We haven’t gotten over the shock, we are very sorry, we didn’t expect such a result. In the summer we felt great joy, this result saddens us instead.”

The 34-year-old Bonucci, who is contracted to Juventus until 2024, is one of the players who is likely to be increasingly phased out of the Azzurri squad following the failure to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. The next major tournament that Italy are likely to attend is Euro 2024, when the Bianconeri defender would be 37 years old.

The Italy squad are now facing a significant overhaul over the coming months as Mancini looks to re-discover the magic in the Azzurri squad ahead of the next major tournament.

Bonucci ritrova Demiral: «Atalanta scelta giusta, ha bisogno di questo» –

— (@junews24com) March 28, 2022

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