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Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 14:26 UK

Coach Leonardo to part company with AC Milan

Leonardo's team have failed to keep pace with city rivals Inter in Serie A

AC Milan boss Leonardo has announced he is leaving the club by mutual consent after just one season in charge.

The 40-year-old stepped up from his role as Milan's technical director to succeed Carlo Ancelotti last May when the Italian left for Chelsea.

Leonardo struggled to improve an ageing team, with the club currently third in Serie A with a game to play.

"We mutually announce that we are parting," said Leonardo, who had no previous managerial experience.

The Rossoneri, who have not won the league title since 2004, are 12 points behind Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan and 10 behind Roma after 37 games of their 38-match season, while they crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage with a 7-2 aggregate defeat by Manchester United.

With a three-point lead and superior goal difference over fourth-placed Sampdoria, however, Milan look certain to secure Serie A's third automatic Champions League spot for next season.

The Brazilian, who was joined by Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani for the news conference, added: "We're here together to communicate our separation by mutual consent in a calm and serene way, as has been our relationship throughout the years.


"There's no surprise, everything is very clear, today is as it has always been.

"We've come to the end. The goal of reaching the Champions League, which was hugely important to me, has been achieved and this morning we decided to make the decision official.

"The time has come to part ways but in a calm manner."

Only last month, Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi reportedly told Italian newspaper the Corriere dello Sport: "Leonardo will leave, we are working on a new coach.

"He has been too tough-headed and the team has played badly this season."

At the time, Leonardo responded by saying: "I can't deny our relationship is difficult. We are different, maybe incompatible."

Leonardo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994, had two spells with Milan as a player.

The former Paris St Germain midfielder said the experience of coaching one of European football's most prestigious clubs had been an eye-opening experience.

"I didn't know what it meant to be a coach, it's been an extraordinary experience but I don't know if I will do it again in the future, definitely not for the next few years," he said.

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see also
Man Utd 4-0 AC Milan (agg 7-2)
10 Mar 10 |  Europe
Milan chief backing 'new Capello'
01 Jun 09 |  Europe
Ancelotti appointed Chelsea boss
01 Jun 09 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti leaves job at AC Milan
01 Jun 09 |  Chelsea

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