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Frank Tigani On December - 28 - 2010

AC Milan At the Break: Leonardo Betrays Milan

Once a player, scout and manger for Milan the unthinkable has occurred over the Christmas break after Leonardo agreed to become Inter’s new manager in the New Year. It is unthinkable because after thirteen years with the Rossoneri Leonardo was a Milanista in every sense of the word.

Leonardo’s defection to the blue and black half of Milan is nothing short of traitorous.

After a successful career as both a player and then later as a scout for Milan, this is a move that has little to do with money because Leonardo is not short of it. Rather, this is a move that is to spite Milan and particularly Milan President Silvio Berlusconi after the Italian Prime Minister forced the Brazilian to resign from his post at the end of last season after a relatively successful season for the then rookie manager.

Many will argue that Leonardo is just a young, talented and ambitious manager looking for success and with the opportunity to coach the current Italian, European and World Champions, it was an offer too good to refuse.

But this is an argument that holds little sway. Sure Leonardo is a young, talented and ambitious manager but just because he is does not mean he should accept an offer from Milan’s eternal enemies as soon as the opportunity presents itself especially given the years he has spent being a Milanista.

Leonardo did jump at the opportunity, however, and it is clear he has done so because of the sense of injustice he felt last season when he was forced out of the Milan camp.

It is understandable why Leonardo must have felt aggrieved at the end of last season. The Milan squad he had at his disposal was the worst in living memory yet he somehow managed to transform the team from an ageing and slow outfit into an exciting and attacking one that was spearheaded by Ronaldinho who under Leonardo enjoyed a short renaissance.

It has little to do with football as to why Leonardo was not encouraged to stay on. His outspoken comments regarding the club and its hierarchy were not welcomed by President Silvio Berlusconi who, it has to be admitted, did seem out of place himself in regard to some of his comments about Leonardo’s performance.

Nonetheless, despite his differences with Berlusconi Leonardo should remember that it was he who bought him as a player, that it was he who offered him the chance to join the coaching staff at Milan and last but most importantly, it was he who offered Leonardo the chance to become the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world despite his complete lack of experience.

Leonardo only got the chance to prove himself as a manager because of the audacious decision by Berlusconi to gamble of the former number 18 Milan star. The young Brazilian tactician would have done well to remember this and had he done so perhaps he would have kept some integrity by refusing the lure to become a Nerazzurri.

But Leonardo has failed to do this. Despite all that Milan gave him over the years, because of one rather public conflict with Berlusconi last year the Brazilian tactician has betrayed Milan and every Milan fan by becoming Inter’s new manager and in doing so has shown his a total disregard for the club of Milan and what the club has given to him along the years.

Leonardo’s defection to Inter is one of the most outrageous acts of mercenary and spitefulness seen in football in recent times. The Brazilian will now become a figure of hate for all true Milanisti and deservingly so.

  • terry

    Mate its Italian calcio this allways happens, what about Vieri from Inter to Milan in 2005. Lippi from Juve to Inter in 1999?

    • Frank

      Sure similar events have taken place before. But this does not mean that Leo has not betrayed Milan by joining Inter.

  • Walker

    right you are Terry! What about Capello as a player from Roma to Juventus to Milan and as a manager from Milan to Roma to Juventus?

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