MILAN - "Moratti has treated me as if I were a son to him. He really has acted like a father towards me." Those were Leonardo's words as he spoke to the press at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on his return to Milan, following the amicable termination of his contract with Inter and a holiday.
"With everything that has gone on in the last month, it seemed right that I should speak to you to explain a few things," said the ex-Nerazzurri coach as he turned to the journalists. "It's been an agitated month for me; actually, it's been an agitated two years, but even more so in the last month. After our success in the Coppa Italia final I was really happy with the trophy we had won, my first trophy, and my life was all organised: after the holidays I would come back here to start working ahead of the new season. But then... I received an invitation from Paris Saint Germain at the start of June, an invitation to show me a possible project. I said no initially but then they insisted. So I spoke to my president, to president Moratti, about this possible project. I spoke to him, a person with whom I have a fantastic relationship, and I told him about this invitation. Then I went to Doha, where a possibility was opened up. I said that for me it would be impossible to leave Inter. Then once again I explained everything to my president: I was like a son to him and he treated me as a father would, in that he knows me very well, and he told me that what was happening to me was a wonderful thing. He tried not to block my path, not to close a door that was there for me. I really was treated like a son and his children, Carlotta and Mao, told me that that is how treats them: he lets them have their freedom, he never closes doors for them. President Moratti is an example for me.
"Then when the call to Bielsa's agent came out in the papers," added Leonardo, "things became complicated. But I didn't negotiate anything with PSG until three days ago, and in any case I was always at Inter's disposal. In people's minds, however, this seemed impossible. So on the outside things were not clear although there was never any question of 'leaving for...' And so gradually we got to Gasperini, and I can assure you that it isn't true that all of those coaches were contacted. I still haven't signed anything for anyone, I simply had a meeting two days ago. Now I'll see what comes of it. PSG today is a possibility, but I'm not sure how things will finish."
"I'm very sorry to leave Inter," he continued, "because we had created something and I mean what we created with the people at Inter and with the president. But things happen. I wish Inter all the best and I always will. And I'll tell you one thing, Gasperini will find a team of people who want to play well and with determination. A great team with a great president."