Milan appoints former coach Leonardo as sporting director

MILAN (AP) Former AC Milan player and coach Leonardo has been appointed as its new sporting director.

The club made the announcement on Wednesday, a day after dismissing Massimiliano Mirabelli.

Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni says: ”The return of Leonardo … is another step forward on our path to success.”

Leonardo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994, joined Milan in 1997 and spent five seasons as a Rossoneri player, winning Serie A and the Italian Cup.

He returned as coach in 2009 for one season.

Milan is undergoing drastic changes since Elliott Management took over the club earlier this month after former owner Li Yonghong missed a deadline to repay part of a loan.

The U.S.-based hedge fund has promised to swiftly inject 50 million euros ($66 million) in capital and Scaroni adds: ”Leonardo’s appointment is another sign of Elliott’s commitment to bring in world-class and experienced leaders, who know what it takes to restore AC Milan to greatness.”

The 48-year-old Leonardo was also sporting director at Paris Saint-Germain from 2010-13.