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Leonardo replaces Benítez at faltering Inter

Published: Friday 24 December 2010, 21.00CET
FC Internazionale Milano have moved quickly to appoint a new coach after parting company with Rafael Benítez on Thursday, bringing in former AC Milan trainer Leonardo.
Leonardo replaces Benítez at faltering Inter
Leonardo left Milan at the end of last season ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 24 December 2010, 21.00CET

Leonardo replaces Benítez at faltering Inter

FC Internazionale Milano have moved quickly to appoint a new coach after parting company with Rafael Benítez on Thursday, bringing in former AC Milan trainer Leonardo.

FC Internazionale Milano have appointed former AC Milan coach Leonardo on a contract until June.

Having parted company with former coach Rafael Benítez yesterday, the European champions have turned to Leonardo for the rest of the season. The 41-year-old led the Rossoneri to third place last season before leaving.

Leonardo, who scored eight goals in 56 games for Brazil, played in midfield for Milan when they won the Serie A title in 1999 and also represented CR Flamengo, São Paulo FC, Valencia CF, Kashima Antlers and Paris Saint-Germain FC.

He will be unveiled on 29 December when the Nerazzurri restart training after the Christmas break. "For Leonardo, the most sincere and good luck," a club statement read. "We believe that he has the class and experience of a champion and his mentality will get the team together to get results."

Benítez took over from José Mourinho in the summer following the historic treble in 2009/10 and led the side to victory in the Italian Super Cup and the recent FIFA Club World Cup. But Inter have struggled in the league where they lie seventh, 13 points adrift of leaders Milan having played two games fewer, and announced an agreement to terminate the Spanish coach's contract on Thursday.

Inter will face FC Bayern München in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with the home leg on 23 February and return on 15 March. The sides met in last season's final, when the Italian outfit triumphed 2-0 to end their 45-year wait to again claim European club football's greatest prize.

Last updated: 02/01/11 20.45CET

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