Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he suffered at the hands of bullies when he was 14.
Bonucci gave an interview to Gazzetta dello Sport promoting his new book ‘My friend Leo’, which he authored with journalist Francesco Cerniti.
“I was involved in an incident when I was 14, which I never talked about,” confessed the defender.
“I was in Viterbo, my hometown, and found myself in a particular situation, threatened by a boy two years older than me.
“He pushed me and asked me to give him what I had in my pocket. I kept a cool head and was brave enough to not let him walk all over me.
“I managed to dissuade him and run away, finding a small group of friends. The incident affected me, but I realised I had to grow up.
“If that boy approached me, it’s clearly because he had seen weakness in me. In my opinion, a bully is missing something.
“If they bully, it’s because they’ve experienced a difficult situation themselves. I hope the book also helps those who abuse others physically or mentally.
“I always try to make my children understand that they can talk to me about anything at home.
“Whether it’s something right or wrong, it’s right to engage in dialogue with your parents, grandparents and people you trust.
“If not, it becomes easy to lock yourself away, stop going out and complicate things.”
In the meantime, the 32-year-old is captaining Juve while Giorgio Chiellini recovers from an ACL injury.
“It pushes me to give more. I’m grateful to the president and Sarri for giving it to me.
“It was an important declaration of esteem, confirmation that I’d gone full circle after my stint at Milan.”