Saturday January 22 2011
Maicon: 'All change under Leonardo'

Douglas Maicon maintains “things have changed a lot” since Leonardo arrived at Inter and hints Rafa Benitez “did something the directors didn't like.”

The Nerazzurri have won all five official games under their new Coach and their performances vastly improved.

“Since Leonardo arrived, things have changed a lot around here. The atmosphere's great,” Maicon told

“He's been able to get his ideas across already, despite not being here long, and everyone has grasped what he's said.

“It's not just me, everyone feels more motivated since he's come in. We're all in it together and we're going to do our best to help him do a good job.”

Maicon in particular had seemed a shadow of his former self after the Treble-winning campaign, but rediscovered his form under his fellow Brazilian.

Benitez made a ‘back me or sack me' claim when lifting the Club World Cup in December, which proved to be his last game in charge.

“We were a bit surprised to see the Coach go after we'd won the Club World Cup. Perhaps he did something that the directors didn't like and which the fans weren't happy with either.

“But I'm not getting involved in that. What I want now is to have a great season under Leonardo.”

The full-back looks to the future with confidence in both the Scudetto race and Champions League knockouts.

“We've got good results in recent weeks and we need to keep that going and hope the others slip up. We had some bad results late last year, but our goal will always be to win the Italian title.

“Bayern Munich will be analysing our play, but we'll also know what their approach will be. Our big advantage is that we've got a taste for victory and we know how to tackle matches like this.

“We realised how enjoyable it is to play in the Club World Cup, but we also saw how much we had to go through to get there. So we'll be giving it our all to win the Champions League again.

“Winning trophies is the lifeblood of every player, so we mustn't take our foot off the pedal now.”