Leonardo has explained his reasoning for leaving the Inter bench for Paris Saint-Germain in 2011 and mused on the possibility of a return to Serie A.
The 44-year-old left the Nerazzurri at the end of the 2010-11 campaign after just six months at the club, to become sporting director with PSG, who were at the start of a takeover phase from Qatar Investment Authority.
“Why PSG? The question is simple. We had won the Coppa Italia and would be proceeding peacefully. Then came the surprise offer from the Prince of Qatar,” considered Leonardo to the Corriere della Sera today.
“It was a surprise, because Qatar Investment Authority had planned to buy the club the year later. It was an unexpected opportunity and incredible in the sense that I was not offered a role simply as a sporting director, but I was given the keys to the club, to take the club to the top.
“I spoke with President Moratti and then I had confirmation that he is an extraordinary character. He let me go, but for me it was a very difficult step.
“Of course, if I had known that I would be staying in Paris for so little time, I would not have left Inter. I resigned because it was not fair to stay, because I saw in practice that I could not do the job.”
The Brazilian, however, is out of work now, having resigned his position in the French capital at the end of the summer transfer window after receiving a nine-month ban for a scuffle in early May with a match official. That suspension was increased by three months on appeal.
“I’m in a pause of reflection. I am obligated, for what happened on May 5, but it has come after years of extraordinary intensity.
“First has been the experience as director at Milan, then the Rossoneri bench, third place in the League, a short break, the arrival at Inter after Mourinho and Benitez, a great run, the Coppa Italia and then the work at Paris Saint-Germain.
“I have had to break in advance, against my will. But today I feel good.”
Leonardo was asked if a return in the future to Milan or Inter is likely, particularly with the Nerazzurri’s imminent takeover.
“Moratti is looking for the best for Inter. Regardless of the details of the agreement with the Indonesians, the President has an exceptional intuition. It is the opening to the future of historic significance.
“Inter does not lose its identity, but it opens up new markets, new ideas, new scenarios, to increase revenues and to invest more. Moratti has once again proven to be ahead of his time, for a project that can really change everything.
“Milan? My desire to return has not changed, but Milan embraces you, it is poetry, it transmits positive feelings.
“I feel 100 per cent Brazilian, but I consider myself a traveller who likes to go to new playces. Back to Milan? Milan is still my home.”
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