Sat, December 25, 2010
Sports > Soccer

Leonardo appointed as new coach of Inter Milan

2010-12-25 09:16:11 GMT2010-12-25 17:16:11 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

AC Milan coach Leonardo arrives before an Italian Serie A soccer match in Bergamo in this October 4, 2009 file photo. (Reuters)

Leonardo, seen here in May 2010, on Friday crossed the great San Siro divide, the former AC Milan coach being named as the successor to Rafael Benitez as boss of Inter Milan. (AFP/Giuseppe Cacace)

MILAN, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Last season's AC Milan coach Leonardo has been named as manager of city rivals Inter Milan to succeed Rafael Benitez, the European champions announced on Friday.

The Brazilian will fill in the vacancy left by Benitez, who left Inter on Thursday after just six months in charge following a poor domestic spell and his public attack on Inter for not investing in new players.

"Welcome, Leonardo is the coach of Inter," read a statement on Inter's website.

"A few minutes ago an agreement was signed which will tie him to the club until June 30, 2012."

Leonardo, whose contract with Inter starts Dec. 29, underachieved in his only season in management with Milan last term, leading the Rossoneri to third place in Serie A and the Champions League last 16.

Benitez led Inter to the Club World Cup title last weekend, but the European and Serie A reigning champions are currently in seventh place in Italian top flight, 13 points behind leaders AC Milan.

The Spanish coach lasted only six months after taking over from Jose Mourinho, who left for Real Madrid following last season's historic treble.

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