AC Milan have confirmed that head coach Leonardo will step down after their final game of the season against Juventus this weekend.
The Brazilian has only been in charge for one season after taking over the reins from Carlo Ancelotti who departed for West London last summer.
The Rossoneri have severely underachieved once again this season as they failed to capitalise in the Serie A title hunt and were heavily defeated by Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16. Once again their Milan rivals Internazionale have overshadowed them in terms of success as they are on the brink of clinching a historic treble. A feat never before achieved by an Italian club.
Leonardo who made 178 appearances during his playing career for The Devils, which included a league championship winners medal eleven years ago has failed to deliver the same success as the clubs manager. Although he is leaving his post the 40 year old insists that he leaves with no animosity.
Leonards said during his press conference:
“We mutually announce that we are parting.”
“It was a mutual choice made in a calm way. Our paths are separating but friendship and respect remain.”
This news may come as no surprise as Milan’s vice president Adriano Galliani hinted last month that Leonardo may leave his position at the end of the season. Despite his departure Galliani stated during the press conference that no one is in line to take over the coveted hot seat at the present time.
“Milan have not contacted anyone, there is time. It’s not a decision to take in a few days, we will take much longer.”
Leonardo will always be warmed to by the Milan faithful for his loyal service as a player and as a member of the Milan hierarchy. A true gentleman, who is now due to return to his native Brazil to be at his children’s side.
Meanwhile it is widely thought that Leonardo’s assistant Mauro Tassotti is the favourite to take over at the Italian giants. The 50 year old spent seventeen years at the club as a player after moving from fellow Serie A side Lazio back in 1980. Following his retirement he joined the coaching staff of The Rossoneri where he eventually became Carlo Ancelotti’s number two in 2001.
Tassotti has remained at the San Siro despite Ancelotti’s departure to Chelsea last summer and the now Blues boss fully believes his former assistant has all the qualities and traits needed to succeed in one of world football’s most coveted hot seats.
He told “Corriere dello Sport” newspaper:
“Tassotti has the experience, the competence and the knowledge to coach Milan.”
“He has remarkable qualities, he is very prepared and has a clear project on his mind. It would be a spot-on choice.”
Youth coach Fillippo Galli is also being touted as a successor for Leonardo and rumours within the football club suggest a partnership for both Tassotti and Galli may be implemented which would effectively see two head coaches at the seven time European cup winners.
Whatever happens it is another transitional period for Milan who have lost key personalities over the past year such as Paulo Maldini, Kaka and Carlo Ancelotti. Three men who have been instrumental in Milan’s modern success.