Leonardo Pre-Derby Interview

The irresistibly likable and soft-spoken Leonardo insists that focus should not be on him, but on the game between two teams fighting for the title.

Leonardo, a man without the typical manager’s bluster.

Ahead of the Milan derby, Leonardo had no need to sidestep his controversial—or traitorous—switch to Inter Milan. He didn’t avoid answering a question that tried to set him up or grow irritable and recede into an evasive answer that only recognizes a disconnected present.

Instead he offered a thoughtful response that preempted controversy by expanding the idea of loyalty beyond belligerent chauvinism. And was perfectly sincere about it:

There is huge expectation ahead of this match. Emotions are no different than when I played in the derby. I have absolute respect for my past and for my present.

4/1/11

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