Ex-Hearts hero Pasquale Bruno ‘wants to punch Leonardo Bonucci’

Pasquale Bruno exchanges words with fellow countryman Paulo Di Canio while the pair were in Scottish football. Picture: TSPL
Pasquale Bruno exchanges words with fellow countryman Paulo Di Canio while the pair were in Scottish football. Picture: TSPL
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FORMER Hearts defender and cult hero Pasquale Bruno has admitted to fantasising about punching Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci in the face - in order to shut him up “for five months”.

Bruno was nicknamed ‘The Animal’ for his aggressive and intimidating style on the field and was not afraid of making his feelings known off the park also.

Having retired in 1998 - playing his final match for Cowdenbeath, oddly enough - Bruno has been reduced to the role of spectator, something which frustrated him greatly as he watched a recent match between Torino and Juventus, which Juve won 2-1.

“The other night I was watching Juve against Torino and seeing Bonucci protest all the time made me think,” Bruno told Tuttomercatoweb.

“I’d love to have the chance to play today, in a Juventus-Torino against Bonucci. Seeing him so excited, euphoric, ready to protest all the time, made me imagine Pasquale Bruno in the tunnel punching Bonucci in the face, splitting his lip with five stitches and that way he can’t talk for five months.

“His behaviour is absolutely infuriating. People didn’t like me, maybe I was the worst of the lot, but I fought hard and protested very little. This is my secret dream.”

Bruno played for both of Juventus and Torino, eventually becoming a firm fan favourite at the latter after initially having to win over fans following the controversial cross-town move.

He would later move to Hearts under manager Jim Jefferies and would help stabilise the club, who were bottom of the table when Bruno first signed before recovering to finish fourth. Bruno played the role of mentor to young centre backs Paul Ritchie and Alan McManus.

His rant against Bonucci didn’t just cite one example of irritating behaviour from the Italian international.

“Bonucci irritates me and I take as an example the penalty given against Bologna for a foul on Alvaro Morata,” Bruno continued.

“While the Bologna players were protesting, up comes Bonucci to tell the referee it was a penalty. That’s unacceptable.

“If I had been a Bologna player, I’d get myself sent off straight away for punching Bonucci. As a player he’s debatable too, as I consider him a normal defender, but his behaviour with his hands always raised to complain is what annoys me.”