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Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 15:52 UK

Milan chief backing 'new Capello'

Leonardo and Galliani
Leonardo is named as Milan's new coach by Adriano Galliani (right)

New AC Milan coach Leonardo can repeat the success of England boss Fabio Capello at the San Siro, according to general manager Adriano Galliani.

Leonardo has been promoted from his role as technical director to replace Carlo Ancelotti following his appointment as Chelsea's new manager.

The Brazilian, 39, has agreed a two-year contract with Milan.

"This club has got very little wrong with its choice of coach down the years," said Galliani.

Despite his lack of coaching experience, Galliani believes Leonardo can have the same impact Capello had at Milan in the 1990s and soften the blow of losing Ancelotti to Chelsea.

"Milan wants to continue the road they took with Capello."

Adriano Galliani

"I remember in 1991 when (Arrigo) Sacchi's term came to an end after four years we had to listen to all sorts of stories about Capello," Galliani added.

"He went on to win four titles in five years and we played in three consecutive Champions League finals.

"We are sure that Leonardo will do well. He is an intelligent person and knows how to maintain a relationship with the players.

"Milan wants to continue the road they took with Capello. He was a great player, like Leonardo, and then was a great member of staff, like Leonardo and then he became the coach, like Leonardo."

Like Capello, former Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo is also a former Milan player and although he played down comparisons with the England coach, he hopes to replicate the success he enjoyed with the Rossoneri.


As well as four Serie A titles, Capello won the Champions League in 1994 and the European Super Cup in the same year.

"The style of Milan will go on, but a lot has changed and it will never be the same," said Leonardo.

"I am Brazilian, for one. Lots of things will change but what does not change is the clear line of Milan and I hope I can be as successful as him."

Ancelotti, 49, ended an eight-year stay at Milan on Sunday and has agreed a three-year contract as Chelsea's new manager following the departure of Guus Hiddink.

Galliani said: "My relationship with Carlo has been more as a friend than as a manager and to see him on the Chelsea website holding a Chelsea shirt has left its mark on me."

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see also
Ancelotti appointed Chelsea boss
01 Jun 09 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti leaves job at AC Milan
01 Jun 09 |  Chelsea
England expects, admits Capello
07 Jan 08 |  Internationals
Chelsea 'must give Scolari time'
13 Jan 09 |  Chelsea

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