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Leonardo eyes glory for Milan

JUST like his Renaissance namesake, new AC Milan coach Leonardo plans to use the latest scientific advances to create a footballing masterpiece.

The Brazilian rookie, who has replaced new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on a two-year contract, wants to play attractive soccer by analyzing detailed fitness and performance data of every player.

While such techniques have been used for some time in England, Spain and Germany, Serie A has been slow to catch on and Leonardo plans a mini-revolution.

More like a manager than a coach in a tracksuit, the 39-year-old former Milan player will also keep most of his old duties as technical director.

"I have the idea of having two assistants who will deal with technical data and scientific information," the 1994 World Cup winner said at the San Siro yesterday. "People will see me more with a suit and tie, that's true."

Ancelotti, who led Milan to glory in the 2003 and 2007 Champions League, has moved on after two unsuccessful seasons but Leonardo said his approach would not differ hugely with playing good football the first objective.

"I have the idea of doing training with the ball, to have a team that is quick with the ball," he said. "The style of Milan, the philosophy goes on. 4-3-1-2, this is our identity, but it can change."

Barcelona's success this term in 38-year-old Pep Guardiola's first season has raised expectations that novice Leonardo can do something similar after Milan limped in third in Serie A.

"Today it's normal to talk about Barcelona seeing what has happened this year," he said in perfect Italian.

Leonardo has two immediate priorities, keeping hold of Real Madrid target Kaka and getting the best out of Ronaldinho after an average first season at Milan.


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