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    Soccer Football - International Friendly - Italy vs Argentina - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - March 23, 2018 Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci

    Italy's Leonardo Bonucci: Rebuilding Process Starts 'Not Very Far From Zero'

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    The four-time world champions failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and one of their most experienced players knows the young team has a long way to go.

    AC Milan's Leonardo Bonucci will be Italy's captain in the absence of Gianluigi Buffon for their upcoming friendly against England at Wembley Stadium.

    The 30-year-old defender doesn't think Azzuri's young players are quite on the level of their English counterparts.

    "We have a much younger team at the moment with not much international experience. You can't even compare our players born in '93, '94, '96, '97 with the English players born in the same years."

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    "You need to understand and we need to understand that Italy starts at — I'm not saying at zero but — not very far from zero. So patience is the key. We need to be patient, let young players grow and hopefully they take us back to the Italy we're used to."

    Bonucci is seen as the heir apparent to Buffon, who is set to retire from international football this summer.


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