Grazie Leo: San Siro To Say Goodbye For Another Milan Legend

Surely today is the start of an emotional adventure for every aspects of Ac Milan, staffs, players, and fans are entering what would be two days of a mixture of feeling as aside the joy for getting their minimum target of the season which is acquiring the Champions League spot, the bitterness of loosing another legend is also on the cards. This event happens after today, Milan coach Leonardo officially announced his retirement as the Italian giants coach and confirming that he will not be coaching the Rossoneri next season, surely this news has been predicted by many but in truth hearing the news officially brings a bit of bitterness  for most Milan fans including myself.

Despite all of the split opinion on Leo's work that has been rounding up football fans especially Milanisti in the latest days, I believe that all Milan fans should be saluting the Brazilian as not only he has done everything that he could but the fact the Rossoneri will be loosing another great legend with love and dedication for the red and black shirts. From arriving as  a player in 1997, Leonardo has given everything he has and playing with his heart in which providing him a warm place in many fans' heart. Proving his love for Milan, Leo went on to stay in the managerial sector, helping the Milan Foundation and then finally becoming the technical director before last season was "forced" to coach the supposedly sinking Milan side.

Leo has been seen as the good and bad in Milan's season, personally I see more of the positive aspect then the negativity that also appears as nobody is perfect. The 40-years-old has pretty much made Milan's campaign a colorful one as he start with many doubts as bad result in friendlies and the early part of serie A, but he manage to spark Milan to life for a nice run before injury troubles start ruining the Rossoneri's short sparkling run. It's always easy to put the blame on the coach when you got your team loosing against your bitter rivals (Inter) with a very high head to head margin and also failing at the Champions league with another huge scoreline (in head to head) but for me people also forgot that Leo, this humble and maybe naive Brazilian coach is someone who just started coaching. He never had the chance to coach smaller or even the primavera side just to prepare his tactical awareness, he obviously try to learn things by doing which in some logical point of view is not an easy thing to do.

Some people maybe claiming that Leo isn't cut it to be a coach just by analyzing all of the choices he made in games that maybe doesn't suits their liking, comparing him to other coaches who obviously has had more experience than him. It's weird in judging the dodgy decisions that Leo has made in some games, when a coach like Guardiola who was labeled genius last season pretty has also done some strange decisions in some games this season, nothing against the Barcelona coach, but just showing that it would be a very naive thought for someone to attack an inexperienced coach and claiming that he is bad, not cut it as a coach just implying to some bad things he did in his first year in the coaching area.

Leo is obviously a smart person but still is in football, especially in the tactical area such as coaching experience is such a big advantage as a young coach could grow better as he experienced lots of different learning process. I don't really want to touch a very technical areas as the season already ends anyway and it is much nicer to remember all the things that Leonardo has done for Milan for all of his years at the club as he deserve to be thanked not only for the unique season that he has brought to Milanisti but for his commitment to help the club in all possible way he can. Nobody really knows, the main reason behind Leo's departure, okay he had a bust with the club's owner Silvio Berlusconi but it's not really something that could not be handle as in the past Ancellotti also had small problems yet he still stays for a while with the club.

Whatever the reasons, behind's Leo's decision in leaving Milan, Saturday night would be a great day to once again say goodbye to another Milan legend that has tried everything he has to give the best for the club he loved. It would be emotional indeed, as Leo has really put his name in the heart of most Milanisti, his natural emotion, his calmness even naivety is something that would be missed dearly. Not only the fans, I'm pretty sure many Milan players will be in a mix of emotion on Saturday as once again they will loose a person who treats them more than just a football player, a coach who is close with his players try to communicate everything, discussed anything together. So tomorrow no matter what Milanisti feels about this season, they all should take a stand, greet and wave goodbye once again not to a Milan coach, but to a legend that will most likely leave the club for good, Grazie Leo .. Thank You Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo.

Here is a nice thing that  Leo said today in the press conference :
"I just thank the Milan who gave me every opportunity to do anything and so my gratitude is infinite and unique.I can not live with sadness. I can not consider thirteen years of my life. The most difficult period is the post for a sports career. Adriano Galliani has been giving me every opportunity. I am a product of AC Milan did not know what it meant to the coach. It was a wonderful thing, but I do not know if I will in the future. Certainly not in the coming years. I have no fear of the future, I have no thought and I have no offer. I like what is management. Here lived a certain situation and we decided to try. For me it was an extraordinary enrichment.
Now it's time to close quietly, as we have always done everything. Departing from Milan is not easy, because Milan has given me the opportunity to do anything: everything I learned I learned from Adriano Galliani and here at Milan."

written by Dewa Nugraha


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