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Juventus star considered quitting football after son's illness

Leonardo Bonucci has had to face up to his son dealing with a serious medical condition.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.
Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.

LEONARDO BONUCCI HAS revealed he considered quitting football after his son Matteo was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Bonucci, who signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal this month, saw his world turned upside down when Matteo was taken ill shortly after the Juventus and Italy star returned from Euro 2016.

But Bonucci said things were now looking up for his son following a swift recovery from surgery.

“[It is] the end of the fear that lasted from July until a few days ago,” Bonucci told La Repubblica. “For Matteo we now often repeat a mantra: you are our champion, you have won the most difficult game.

He’s started playing with his brother again, soon they will even be fighting!

“Finally it is going well, physically and psychologically.”

Describing the series of events that left Bonucci facing up to the greatest challenge of his life, the 29-year-old revealed the anguish that made him give serious thought to retiring.

He’d had a hernia treated, but we felt he wasn’t the same boy anymore,” he explained.

“A wonderful doctor at the Regina Margherita Hospital then detected a serious condition, and we had to intervene immediately, something had to be done the next day at 8am. Matteo didn’t come out until four in the afternoon.

As he entered the operating theatre, Matteo roared like a lion at us, as if he wanted to make us feel braver, not himself.

“I sat in a corner and had a chat with God: ‘your will be done, I told him, but please remember that he’s only a kid’.

In those weeks I considered quitting football, I just couldn’t think about work, I had really put it to one side.

“Matteo was back home on 10 August, 13 days after surgery — a record recovery.”

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