Leonardo blames Berlusconi for Milan departure | sports | Hindustan Times
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Leonardo blames Berlusconi for Milan departure

sports Updated: Sep 18, 2010 19:22 IST
AC Milan

Former AC Milan coach Leonardo said on Saturday that he left the club due to incompatibility with owner Silvio Berlusconi, and compared the Italian Prime Minister to Narcissus.

"Narcissus doesn't like anything that isn't a reflection of himself," Leonardo told sport daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Just so it's clear: it's me that decided to leave. I gave up the final year of my contract so that we could separate in the best way."I left because of an incompatibility of character and style. These are things I've already said to Berlusconi.

"I thought I'd be a milanista for ever," added Leonardo, who joined the club as a player in 1997.

Former Brazil international Leonardo left Milan earlier this year after just one season at the helm, having guided the club to a third-place finish in last season's Serie A championship.

He had been brought in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in 2009, despite having no senior coaching experience.

Berlusconi had previously claimed that, had he been manager last season, Milan would have won the league.

"Saying 'I told you so' when things have gone badly is a slightly pointless game," responded Leonardo.

"I don't know why he talks about me so much. Deep down there must be something that isn't right with him."

Berlusconi has a reputation for trying to impose his own ideas about tactics and team selection upon the coaches he employs.

Earlier this summer he told Leonardo's successor Massimiliano Allegri that he expected Milan to play with two strikers, and Leonardo urged the new coach to be given space to do his job.

"I hope they give him time," said Leonardo. "It's not Milan's style to change coach every year."

Asked about his future plans, Leonardo said he hoped to coach in England, "where the role of manager signifies complete control of the sporting project".

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