Leonardo: It was impossible to continue at PSG

05/08/2013 10:00 AM

Leonardo is still angry at his 13-month suspension from football which led to his resignation as Paris Saint-Germain sporting director.

The Brazilian was initially suspended for nine months by the French Football Federation after he was found to have deliberately barged referee Alexandre Castro, before the ban was extended for the whole of the 2013-14 season after an appeal.

Leonardo would have been banned from all official duties surrounding his position, including standing on the touchline during matches, and he feels these restrictions would have stopped him doing his job to the full.

“It was impossible to continue my work in Paris because this suspension would not let me give it 100 per cent,” Leonardo told Le Parisien.

“What they did to me was very unjust. Everything became too difficult after this suspension.

“I was the main man responsible for the project at PSG, I was very involved with the players and coaches. It’s the most exciting project in Europe today.”

The 43-year-old was responsible for securing the signatures of high-profile players such as Thiago Motta, Lucas Moura, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as coach Carlo Ancelotti.

And Leonardo claims it was his idea to take striker Edinson Cavani from Napoli to the Parc de Princes this summer.

“To have the top scorer in Serie A, Cavani, and the top scorer in Ligue 1, Ibrahimovic, in the same team is incredible,” added Leonardo.

“Especially when you can also count on players like Lucas [Moura], [Javier] Pastore, [Jeremy] Menez and [Ezequiel] Lavezzi. PSG have the best attack in the world with those six players.

“It was my idea to bring Cavani and Ibrahimovic together and I insisted it happened.

“Ibra is big and strong but is capable of dropping into midfield and creating [chances]. He will play behind and around Cavani, who will be at the front. If you think back to last season, Ibra often dropped deep to use his creativity and we lacked a goalscorer in the middle to get on the end of crosses.”


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