Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he will not be retiring from international football following Italy's failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Juventus centre-back did not feature in Italy's shock 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia in the World Cup qualification play-off semi-finals, having suffered a calf injury at the start of March.
Now fully fit and ready to play a dead-rubber friendly against Turkey, the 34-year-old confirmed in a pre-match press conference that he does not intend to retire from international football, yet also stating that he is unsure if Giorgio Chiellini will make the same decision to carry on.
"I don’t know what Giorgio will do. On my end, I want to continue to be an example and guide the many youths wearing this shirt," he said.
Bonucci gave an insight into how Italy players reacted to their defeat on Thursday evening.
“The hours after the eliminations have been thought. We remained quiet during our moments together, like team lunches or dinners. That was the most challenging part," he added.
“We tried to play down the disappointment by saying that young players will have other opportunities, while the older ones like myself only had one last chance.
“After the coach spoke to us, we put the past behind our shoulders and we re-connected with the future. The future is now so we must start again to rebuild and get what we didn’t achieve. We have a solid base to come back.”
In the same press conference, Roberto Mancini confirmed his intentions to remain Italy manager.