Leonardo Bonucci has named Liverpool as one of his Champions League favourites, alongside Man City, Barcelona and Juventus.
Liverpool made it all the way to the final of last season’s competition before losing out 3-1 to Real Madrid in calamitous fashion, while Juventus were also runners-up in 2015 and 2017.
Why are Liverpool among Bonucci’s European favourites? Five key things to know…
- Leonardo Bonucci has named Liverpool alongside Juventus, Barcelona and Man City as his Champions League favourites.
- Liverpool reached last season’s final, while Juve were runners-up in 2015 and 2017.
- Man City, who trail Liverpool by four points in the Premier League, reached the 2016 semi-final, while Barca have won four of the last 13 Champions Leagues.
- Bonucci believes these four sides have the most defined identities in Europe.
- Juve, Barca and Liverpool all top their domestic leagues, while Man City are second in the Premier League.
Barcelona have won the Champions League in four of the last 13 seasons, while Manchester City reached the semi-final in 2016.
And Italy international Bonucci believes these four teams have the most defined identities in Europe right now, backing one of them to lift the Champions League trophy come the end of the season.
“I think there are four favourites: Barcelona, City, Juventus and Liverpool,” said Bonucci, speaking to Sky Sport in Italy. “Teams with an identity.”
Bonucci did, however, concede that the Champions League can be very hard to predict, highlighting Liverpool’s unlikely run to last season’s final as an example of that.
He continued: “The Champions League can be very surprising. Look at Liverpool, they were underdogs last season and they reached the final.”
Juventus will face Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Barca have drawn Lyon. Liverpool and Manchester City have drawn German sides Bayern Munich and Schalke respectively.
Bonucci: Good luck, Higuain
Leonardo Bonucci played alongside Gonzalo Higuain at Juventus during the 2016/17 season, winning a Serie A title and reaching the 2017 Champions League final together.
The Argentine striker confirmed his loan move to Chelsea earlier this week to work under Maurizio Sarri and Bonucci, 31, has wished his ‘friend’ well, hoping he will show he is a ‘great’ striker.
“Higuain is a friend of mine. I’ve recently had dinner with him and I wish him all the best,” Bonucci added. “He was ok when we met. I hope he will show the great person and great striker that he is.”
Higuain’s first game in a Chelsea shirt may come against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Sunday.