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Leonardo introduced as new Inter Milan coach

 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 consulted Jose Mourinho, who won an unprecedented treble for the Italian team last season, after having agreed to replace Rafa Benitez at the struggling Serie A club.
Leonardo was introduced by Inter president Massimo Moratti on Wednesday, revealing he called Mourinho to discuss the club that the Portuguese coach led to Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles _ the first such treble for an Italian team.
"I'm not Mourinho, though. I've only coached one season," said Leonardo, who led Milan last season and spent much of his playing career at that club.
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 had a falling out with 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 returned the praise.
"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's only head coaching experience came last season when he led Milan, but the term ended abruptly when the 41-year-old Brazilian clashed with club owner and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Leonardo said he will never forget what he accomplished with Milan, but understands if fans of the club consider him a traitor.
"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 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 : 2020-12-01 13:56 GMT+08:00