Leonardo Bonucci admits Juventus have ‘rediscovered our spirit and humility’ in another 1-0 win away to Zenit, but above all are working as a team now Cristiano Ronaldo has left.
Dejan Kulusevski came off the bench to seal the Champions League victory in Russia, nodding in Mattia De Sciglio’s cross during the final minutes.
“It was a tough game, especially as Zenit all clammed up in defence once they lost the ball,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.
The centre-back was named Man of the Match by UEFA in St Petersburg.
“This is an important trophy, but the team is how we won the game. We said over the last few days we needed to suffer, club together and find our way towards the win.”
This was Juve’s fourth consecutive 1-0 win between Serie A and the Champions League.
“All the victories after a difficult start are important. Now we have another big match coming up on Sunday and keep going like this, because winning 1-0 is important too.”
Bonucci was asked if Juve were more of a team now than in the last few seasons and, without prompting, the defender referred to Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit.
“It’s absolutely true, it is what we all said. In the recent past, we had lost that characteristic of Juve. We were all playing with a great champion and wanted him to do well, so perhaps we lost that desire to all suffer and sacrifice ourselves together, because we assumed he would sort it out.
“The coach has done really well to get that spirit and humility back and we all work together now to get the result.”
Bonucci: “Ora siamo squadra. Negli ultimi anni pensavamo a servire al meglio CR7…” https://t.co/ZICaKf34K5
— TUTTOmercatoWEB (@TuttoMercatoWeb) October 20, 2021