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David Schiavone On May - 18 - 2010

Leonardo Can Be Proud Of His Achievements With AC Milan

AC Milan playmaker Ronaldinho recently said of coach Leonardo, “It has been beautiful to work with him. He is my friend and I want to see him happy wherever he is.”

As we all know he was not happy and he will not be working with his fellow countryman following their final match against Juventus, a 3-0 victory incidentally in which Ronaldinho bagged a brace. A fitting end to Leonardo’s reign at the San Siro.

The Brazilian leaves behind a side that performed over and above its ability, to which a lot of credit must go to the coach. He leaves with his head held high and his reputation enhanced despite a somewhat imagined Scudetto challenge, Champions League humiliation and disappointing Coppa Italia exit.

Leonardo was a new beginning after the departure of long serving Carlo Ancelotti and the sale of star man Kaka, not to mention the retirement of club icon and legend Paolo Maldini. Leonardo was charged with the colossal task of ushering in this new era at Milanello, he did have his issues during a turbulent few weeks in charge of the AC Milan side.

The rookie had no experience as a coach, no notable signings were made and expectations were low, the Rossoneri faithful had very little hope for the season.

But after putting together a magnificent run of 13 matches unbeaten between October and December, which included a 3-2 win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu against the Nuevo Galácticos. Milan were playing some of the best attacking football on the continent.

This resurgence was led by a tactical switch from playing a trequartista to an attacking tridente of Ronaldinho, Marco Borriello and Pato, coupled with the return to form of Alessandro Nesta and the superlative partnership he formed with Thiago Silva.

It can be said the injuries to Nesta and Pato derailed the Rossoneri challenge on all fronts but even still Leo can be very proud of what he has achieved this season.

Third place in Serie A while playing Giuseppe Favalli at centre-back deserves a knighthood. Most of his squad were the wrong side of thirty yet he managed to instill a never say die attitude and demonstrated a very canny tactical brain.

As the season wore on it become clear he was going to leave, rumblings of discontent from the hierarchy and an emanating tension, together with a desire to be close to his family in Brazil may have hastened his decision, but it could be one Silvio Berlusconi regrets.

Leonardo said at a press conference: “We are here to announce that we are parting ways through mutual consent, in a calm and serene manner, just as it has always been in our relationship throughout the years.

“There’s nothing surprising. Everything is very clear today, as always. We have arrived at the end. The Champions League aim, which I desired so much, has been achieved and this morning we have decided to make it official. The time to end this adventure has come.”

I for one will be sad to see him depart Calcio; he has proved himself to be an intelligent, thoughtful man and not to mention a pretty handy tactician.

Grazie Leo!

One Response so far.

  1. Patrick says:

    Nice work. Leonardo patiently waited at Milan to manage. Then, he was a loyal class act and what did it get him? Shown the door by Silvio. Silvio has done many amazing things at Milan over the past 20+ years, but I think he is starting to lose it.

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