Leonardo talks of 'dream' move at Inter Milan unveiling

New Inter Milan coach Leonardo, the former AC Milan boss who joined the European champions last week after Rafael Benitez's dismissal, said the job was "a dream" after being welcomed like a rock star today.

"I'm a romantic," Leonardo told his first news conference at Inter's training ground having arrived to wild applause.

"I wasn't looking for work, I was looking for a dream and this is the biggest challenge there is."

The Brazilian left Milan in May after his only season in management following a series of disagreements with owner Silvio Berlusconi.

He has returned to Serie A with Milan's biggest rivals having replaced Benitez but said his acceptance of the role was not the start of a vendetta against the Rossoneri.

"I thank Milan for 13 years together and I will never forget them but now I start a new adventure. I am a free man."

The 41-year-old World Cup winner was a player for Milan before becoming a scout, technical director and coach, making his switch to their bitter rivals all the more surprising.

However, the clubs have often swapped personnel over the years and league leaders Milan have stayed largely quiet on the issue given their hopes of silverware this term rely on former Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter are bidding for a sixth straight Serie A title but lie seventh at the mid-season break following an injury crisis and loss of confidence under Benitez.

"I still believe in the scudetto. I know 13 points is a lot but the championship still has a long way to run," added Leonardo, whose first game in charge is the Jan. 6 clash with Napoli at the familiar San Siro.

Inter president Massimo Moratti is prepared for flak from Inter fans if his appointment of a former Milan coach, who only guided the Rossoneri to third last term, backfires.

"I am very happy about this appointment, I have always rated him," Moratti said of a man who speaks five languages.

"Now let him work without pressure but with all the ambition that we must have as champions of the world. He bears a heavy weight on his shoulders, as I do, for the decision the club have taken."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor