Former Brazilian international, World Cup champion and AC Milan manager Leonardo has been hired as coach of Inter Milan, just one day after the termination of Rafael Benitez's contract. Benitez's termination marked the end of a 6 month stint after the Spaniard took over from Jose Mourinho, who secured a historic treble with the club by winning Serie A, the Champions League and Coppa Italia in the 2009-2010 season. Defending champions Inter are currently in seventh place in Italy's Serie A, with 23 points from 15 games, while arch-rivals AC Milan sit atop the league with 36 points from 17 games. Leonardo's previous coaching experience is limited to the 2009-2010 season with AC Milan, as a result of which his team finished third in Serie A. The Brazilian is known for creating stylish, attack oriented teams that play with a 4-3-3 formation where possible. Like his compatriots Luiz Felipe Scolari and Zico, Leonardo's coaching philosophy is fundamentally Brazilian with its emphasis on one touch passing, dribbling through defenders and taking the attack to the opposing team. The Brazilian left AC Milan as coach after failing to get along with club President Silvio Berlusconi. Leonardo's appointment as coach of Inter Milan stuns the football world given his long standing history as player, scout, technical director and coach of the club's foremost rival, AC Milan. His appointment runs from December 29, 2010 until June 2012.
For an article on Leonardo and World Cup 1994, see:
Bringing Back the Beautiful Game: Flashback: Tears of Regret and Friendship: Bebeto and Leonardo in World Cup 1994