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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus, Leonardo Bonucci agree to contract extension through 2020

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We always want the players who are of the most importance to Juventus to play like they're expected to. Some of the time it doesn't work out all that well, other times it works out better than we could have ever expected.

Leonardo Bonucci has been a target of criticism over the years. But in the season when Juventus won its fourth straight Serie A title and made a dream run to the Champions League final, Bonucci was one of the best on the team and in the game at his position. No worries of inconsistencies, no worries of the big-time mental lapses that bugged him earlier on in his Juventus career. None of that. He was good, damn good, and a huge part of why Juventus did so well last season.

Now he's getting rewarded for it.

Juventus announced on Tuesday afternoon that the 28-year-old Bonucci has agreed to a contract extension with the club through the 2019-2020 season. He's the second Juventus player to sign a five-year deal in the month of July, with midfielder and future captain Claudio Marchisio signing a long-term extension three weeks ago.

From juventus.com:

Leonardo Bonucci has today committed his long-term future to Juventus, renewing his contract for another five years which will keep him with the club until 2020

Few players have taken their game to the next level in the same way as Bonucci since he joined Juventus from Bari five years ago in 2010.

The defender's consistency at the back and his unrelenting year on year improvement have cemented his place at the heart of the Bianconeri's defence as well as making him a permanent fixture at international level.

Bonucci, whose old deal was set to expire after the 2016-2017 season, will get a much-deserved raise as part of his brand new contract extension. The Gazzetta dello Sport reported Monday that Bonucci's annual salary will rise to €3.5 million a season after tax, putting him in the territory as one of the higher paid players on the current Juventus roster.

And based on all the turnover this summer, he is now one of Juventus' most tenured players.

Bonucci has gone from a young player who got his feet wet in Serie A with Bari to one of Juventus' most important players over the course of his five-year career in Turin. He used to be known for youthful mistakes that can be chalked up to inexperience, but not anymore. Bonucci's 2014-2015 season proved that he can make the step up to the elite group of defenders in Europe. He was consistent as consistent gets while only continuing to be a leader in a side full of them.

So, in other words, Bonucci being signing this contract extension is pretty much as deserved as one could be. And based on last season, it won't be the last time we talk about how good a player Bonucci has become.