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Leonardo introduced as new Inter manager

 New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo gestures during his official presentation at the Inter Milan training center "La Pinetina" in Appiano Gentil...
 New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo poses with the team jersey during his official presentation at the Inter Milan training center "La Pinetina"...
 New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo, left, holds the team jersey next to Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti during his official presentation ...

Italy Soccer Serie A

New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo gestures during his official presentation at the Inter Milan training center "La Pinetina" in Appiano Gentil...

Italy Soccer Serie A

New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo poses with the team jersey during his official presentation at the Inter Milan training center "La Pinetina"...

Italy Soccer Serie A

New Inter Milan Brazilian coach Leonardo, left, holds the team jersey next to Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti during his official presentation ...

Newly appointed Inter Milan coach Leonardo understands if AC Milan fans consider him a traitor.
The Brazilian, who managed Milan last season and spent much of his playing career with the Rossoneri, was introduced by Inter on Wednesday, replacing the departed Rafa Benitez.
"I respect the views of others, so if they think I'm a traitor, I realize that it's a view born of emotions," Leonardo said. "And it's OK if my former players have trouble forming an opinion of me."
Leonardo said he'll "never forget" what he accomplished with Milan, but is now focused and enthusiastic about leading Inter.
Leonardo added that after accepting the job he put a call in to Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter to Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles last season _ the first such treble for an Italian team.
"I'm not Mourinho, though. I've only coached one season," Leonardo said.
Mourinho departed for Real Madrid at the end of last season and Inter hired Benitez from Liverpool.
While Benitez led Inter to the Club World Cup title last week, Inter has struggled in Serie A, languishing 13 points behind leader and city rival AC Milan in seventh place.
Benitez also had a falling out with Inter president Massimo Moratti, who stood by Leonardo during his presentation.
"Leonardo demanded that I be here today," Moratti said. "It's the first time someone has asked me and it's very pleasing. ... Our relationship was born of reciprocal respect."
Leonardo's only head coaching experience came last season when he led Milan, but the term ended abruptly when the 41-year-old clashed with club owner and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
"It didn't take long for me to accept president Moratti's proposal," Leonardo said. "But I never really thought it would happen. ... Being a coach is a very delicate job and when I stopped coaching Milan I reflected a lot, but the opportunity that was offered me by Inter made me realize that this is what I really wanted to do."
Leonardo added that he had no plans to "revolutionize" Inter, meaning he'll likely use the same players as Benitez.
However, Inter does intend to make some moves in the transfer market, and has reportedly already concluded a deal for Genoa defender Andrea Ranocchia.


Updated : 2021-07-25 00:40 GMT+08:00