Leonardo was emotionally and physically exhausted after Inter's 3-2 victory. “This game cannot be explained: only experienced. It's symbolic of Inter.”
The Nerazzurri looked to be out of the Champions League when trailing 2-1 at half-time to Bayern Munich, 3-1 on aggregate, but fought back to go through on away goals.
“I am wrecked! They even did a tackle from behind with that third goal to really kill me off,” joked the Coach.
“This game cannot be explained: only experienced. We won and it was a victory all from the heart. We organised well, scoring after three minutes, but there was a period when everything went Bayern's way and we lost our balance.
“Tonight was all about heart. I am so happy for Goran Pandev, as this is a difficult time for him.”
Julio Cesar's howler had given Bayern a 1-0 win in the first leg and he fumbled again at the Allianz Arena.
“It was all planned. We had calculated his error would give us the push we needed to go forward and win,” laughed Leonardo.
“Seeing Julio cry at the final whistle was an emotional experience, as they were tears of joy and of rehabilitation. This victory cannot be explained, but only experienced.”
Leonardo has transformed the squad since taking over from Rafa Benitez, but he insists it's all down to the players.
Only one club in Champions League history had gone through after losing the first leg at home, when Louis Van Gaal's Ajax came back at Panathinaikos to reach the 1995-96 semi-finals.
“It is an historic victory and, there may be better or worse moments, but what happened tonight is a symbol of what Inter can be,” said the tactician.
“To me football is all about emotions and experiences. I think this side has a lot of certainties. It needed courage against a Bayern team that attacks so well. We could've lost our heads, but we were always in the game.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!