his departure, Mbappé, Messi… Leonardo says goodbye to Paris and takes stock!

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It’s time for Leonardo’s last dance! Dismissed from his position as sports director of Paris-Saint-Germain on the evening of the tenth title of the championship, on May 21, the Brazilian took stock in the columns of The team.

The Brazilian mentions in particular the non-officialization and the moment of his departure, the extension of Kylian Mbappé’s contract at PSG, the arrival of Lionel Messi or his future.

The non-officialization of his departure

“We talked about it with the club. Without a doubt it’s my way of being, but it always seems a bit pathetic to me to say ‘thank you very much, bye-bye…’ It wasn’t important to make a press release. My relationship with PSG has always been linked to too strong an emotion. I got there as a player at one point. (in 1996) where the club was in crisis, the team had won the Coupe des Coupes (C2)I had a very intense year. If I came back here in 2011 it is because I had put on these colors. There was emotion when arriving, when leaving and, still there, when cutting, now”.

A link between his departure and Kylian Mbappé’s extension?

No, they didn’t tell me that. But I don’t want to get into that kind of thing. And the fact of having kept a player of that level, French and Parisian, is important for PSG and L1.

Shocking moment?

“It’s your judgment. Judging a decision is easier than making the decision. Being in a decision-making position is not easy. It’s a lonely position. Okay, you’ve made a decision, you may be surprised, but it’s your decision “. decision. Everyone is a bit under pressure. Everyone is in trouble, on the run.”

Bitterness?

“I’m leaving with zero bitterness! Honestly, zero! Next, I have my vision. But it’s not the day to spill. It’s the day to thank Qatar and Paris for giving me this opportunity. And I won’t do it out of demagoguery.”

his record

“We could have done better, we can always do better. But I lived through two very clear stages. The first, in 2011, was construction. We start from an almost blank page. opportunity to do something exceptional and for that I have Qatar to thank. I experienced something very intense. The idea was to build something that remains even when you’re gone.”

The XXL hiring last summer and the arrival of Messi

“When three young talents arrive like Hakimi (then 22 years old), Nuno Mendes (19 years old) and Donnarumma (22 years old at the time), Ramos, Wijnaldum and Messi, you say to yourself: what is that? Everyone has said. So you lose in the round of 16 (of C1), we say: “It’s shit, it’s the management, it’s the group…” It’s also true that I think there were moments of tiredness. The Covid season had an impact on the following “I’ve had Covid twice and I still feel it sometimes. So yeah, maybe we could have scored more sometimes. You never know. There are times when you will step in and the influence is not good. “There are times when you stay outside and you might miss something. But still: in the end, we made Messi! We can say what we want. (…) We talked about it. But Messi never thought too much. It was the last”. Moments, before his arrival, which were decisive, then everything normalizes a bit. At least put…, you have made the only signing of Messi in his career! So yes, thank you. Messi, there is nothing more than that. Chronologically there is Pelé, Maradona, Messi. He is in Olympus. So when I take stock of my three years, I see a C1 final, a semi-final, the 10th league title, seven national trophies and I add Messi.

A future in Valence or in France?

“There is nothing concrete. He spoke a little, like that, but nothing more. The fact that people are talking about me there makes me happy. It is another club I played for (1991-1993). I was a coach here (in Paris). ), in Milan, two clubs where I played. The fact of having played in a club is something positive. (…) Seeing myself as coach of another important French club like Lyon would be complicated. Aulas has been thirty years. -Five years, I take advantage to congratulate him because everything he has done is enormous. When you know the complexity of all that, his perseverance, his ideas, hats off!

To sum up

Although his dismissal has not even been formalized, Leonardo took stock of his second stint as sports director of Paris-Saint-Germain. “We talked about it with the club. Without a doubt it’s my way of being, but it always seems a bit pathetic to me to say ‘thank you very much, bye-bye…’ It wasn’t important to make a press release. My relationship with PSG has always been linked too strong an emotion. I arrived there as a player at a time (in 1996) when the club was in crisis, the team had won the Coupe des Coupes (C2), I lived a very intense year “If I came back here in 2011 it’s because I had put these colors on. There was emotion when I arrived, when I left and, even then, time to cut, now”, said the Brazilian in an interview with L’Equipe.

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