Carlo Ancelotti's eight-year tenure at AC Milan has ended with the coach terminating his contract a year early by mutual consent after sealing their return to the UEFA Champions League group stage, Leonardo taking up the reins.
"In agreement with the club, we have decided to bring forward the expiry of my contract," said the 49-year-old after the Rossoneri's final match of the Serie A season, a 2-0 success at ACF Fiorentina. "A fantastic adventure with Milan comes to an end and I want to thank everybody. I'm glad it ended in the right way after bringing the team back into the UEFA Champions League. We are going separate ways but we still love and respect each other."
When pressed upon which club he will now join, Ancelotti added: "I cannot say anything official about my future because I have no kind of agreement with any club. However, I think you will know very soon." Ancelotti joined Milan, the club he played for between 1987 and 1992, in 2001 after spells with Parma FC and Juventus. He led the Rossoneri to UEFA Champions League glory in 2003 and 2007 and is one of six men to have lifted the trophy both as a player and a coach, having won it as a midfielder in 1989 and 1990. As Milan coach, he also won the 2003/04 Scudetto and the Coppa Italia a year previously, among other trophies.
Leonardo said: "I have a special connection with this club, it's a special day for me. I have been working here for 12 years and to start again as the new coach after Ancelotti is a very important thing for me. Humility, enthusiasm and hard work will be my points of reference for the next season. We have several young players, but we also have experienced players and I think we won't change the way we play too much. We have played the same kind of football for a number of years. I want attacking and entertaining football. I think that Kaká, like every great player, would find a place in any great team, but it is important that we keep him here. He is fundamental for the team."
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