Leonardo relishing Milan derby

BY foxsports • April 1, 2011

However, the Brazilian insists he does not however, want to be the centre of attention.

"To say that this is my game is an exaggeration," Leonardo said. "It will not be my game because I don't feel as though I have to prove anything.

"I am just happy to live through this experience."

Leonardo spent many years playing for the Rossoneri and coached the team last season before choosing to leave last summer and return to Brazil.

He had a short stay in South America because when Inter decided it was time to sack Rafael Benitez in January, they turned to Leonardo and he did not hesitate to return to Italy.

Since taking over, Leonardo has presided over 12 wins in 15 Serie A games.

"I would not change anything from the past, if I had to do everything again, I would," Leonardo said.

"I will feel emotions because I cannot forget what I have experienced in the past, but I will keep them to myself."

Leonardo does not believe Saturday's derby will be crucial in the title race, but a defeat would leave Inter five points behind their rivals.

"The derby gives you energy," Leonardo said. "But it is worth three points like any other game and hence, it's not crucial.

"There would still be 21 points up for grabs after this game and with Napoli and Udinese flying high in the standings, this match is not crucial for the Scudetto."

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has a different opinion.

"The derby is more important for Inter than it is for Milan," he said. "We already beat them in our last meeting and a draw could even be enough for us."

AC Milan won the reverse fixture 1-0 with former Inter star Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot.

Ibrahimovic will have to watch from the stands of a sold out Giuseppe Meazza stadium as he completes a two-match ban, meaning the Serie A leaders will be without their leading scorer on Saturday.

"It's a shame that Ibrahimovic cannot take part in the game, as we could've done with his quality," Allegri said.

The good news for the Rossoneri is that Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato has shaken off an ankle injury and will start.

Inter will be without suspended defender Lucio.


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