When it comes to the backbone of its roster, there’s denying that a strong Italian presence has been crucial for Juventus Women in its first two seasons of competitive football. That’s a notion that was only confirmed during the Women’s World Cup earlier this summer in France, with nearly all of the Bianconere’s eight-player contingent playing a role in Italy advancing to the tournament’s quarterfinals.
The tandem of Barbara Bonansea and Cristiana Girelli are two of the biggest names that led Juventus’ women’s team to a domestic double last season.
And, after a summer with plenty of highs, the two strikers marked their return to training in Turin with about as good of an indication that they want to continue spending the prime of their respective careers right where they are.
Juventus announced contract extension with both Bonansea and Girelli — two of last season’s top scorers — through the 2020-21 season on Friday, a clear signal that club wants to continue to build around its current core of talented Italian women. Bonansea and Girelli, who are 28 and 29 years old, respectively, were longtime teammates at Brescia before coming to Juventus in the previous two summers.
They won’t be going anywhere now.
They're staying! @barbarabonansea and @cristianagire ink the dotted line until 2021 ⚪⚫https://t.co/kVmzD6HNwE— Juventus FC Women (@JuventusFCWomen) July 27, 2019
Ancora con noi! @barbarabonansea e @cristianagire rinnovano fino al 2021 ⚪⚫ https://t.co/osNcLwSkfp pic.twitter.com/xnsAazJDPT
Why this means so much on top of the fact that Juventus Women keep two of their most talented players is the simple fact that Bonansea and Girelli are committing to a project in a country that still doesn’t see women’s players as fully professional players. Not that women’s football transfer rumors are flying out there on the cover of Tuttosport like with the men’s game or anything close to it, but to say that other clubs that could offer more lucrative situations could very well have come calling. Instead, seeing both of them sign contract extensions and commit at least two more seasons to Juventus is quite the refreshing sight — both for the continued improvement on the club level as well as the role both of them play when it comes to the Italian women’s national team.
Plus, you know, they’re just a couple of badasses.
Bonansea and Girelli both scored 13 goals in league play last season as Juventus Women captured their second straight Scudetto since becoming an organized team in the summer of 2017.
Now, with this matter done, let us hope that the rest of the Italian-centric core gets their just due with contract extensions of their own. And, you know, there’s some reinforcements being brought in to see this team compete on multiple fronts again. Because, you know, other Serie A women’s teams aren’t messing around this summer.