Leonardo to replace Benitez as Inter Milan coachBy DPA, IANS
Saturday, December 25, 2010
ROME - Inter Milan have hired Brazilian coach Leonardo after firing Rafael Benitez six months into his tenure at the helm of the Serie A champions.
The club’s website announced late Friday that Leonardo, 41, signed a contract until Jun 2012 and will meet the team when they resume training Wednesday after a Christmas vacation.
Leonardo is a former forward with AC Milan and coached the Devils in the past season. He resigned in May over a bad relationship with club owner and Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Inter have a 13-point gap from leaders Milan, with two games in hand, when the Serie A resumes on Jan 6.
Benitez, 50, was hired in June to replace Jose Mourinho and steered Inter to success in the Italian League Super Cup and last week in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Under Benitez, Inter played far below the level that last season allowed them to win the Champions League, the Serie A title and the Italian Cup.
He blamed the many defeats suffered in the league and the Champions League on tired players and missing replacements.