Al-Khelaifi thanks Leonardo

Paris St Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has expressed his regret at the resignation of sporting director Leonardo - but vowed the Brazilian's departure would not slow the capital club's progress.

Last Updated: 12/07/13 at 13:18 Post Comment

Leonardo: Club will continue despite his departure

Leonardo: Club will continue despite his departure

Leonardo informed the board of his decision on Wednesday - a week after learning he would be banned for the whole of next season for pushing a referee following a Ligue 1 match in May this year.

He will leave the French champions at the end of August and will depart with the gratitude of Al-Khelaifi for his work at the Parc des Princes, but the Qatari businessman also has his eyes very much on the future.

"I really understand his decision," Al-Khelaifi said in L'Equipe. "I respect it, even if I regret it deeply. Leo has done an excellent job over the past two years to bring a lot of credibility to the sporting aspect of our project.

"I thank him for this work and wish him the best for the future."

He continued: "Seeing executives go is part of the life of a club or any business. People come and they go... The project does not stop.

"PSG now has over 200 employees, including players. The club is growing very fast and there is no-one who can prevent this growth from continuing.

"Nothing can stop us. We continue to build our team and our club, to become a major European competitor in the years to come.

"Today, we are working to recruit new players to add to our great staff of champions. That is my immediate priority."

Leonardo has overseen intense transfer activity in the two years since being appointed in July 2011 in the wake of the Qatar Investment Authority's takeover.

During the 43-year-old's time in Paris, the club signed the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marco Verratti, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Moura, Javier Pastore, Thiago Motta and David Beckham - with the Ligue 1 title duly following last term.

Leonardo was also key to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as head coach, although the Italian has since left to take charge of Real Madrid.

His influence over new manager Laurent Blanc was always likely to be diluted by the increased ban he received from the French Football Federation (FFF) for allegedly pushing referee Alexandre Castro following a match against Valenciennes on May 5.

Leonardo was initially handed a nine-month ban but, after a failed appeal, it was increased last week to expire on June 30, 2014, during which time he could not be present on the touchline or enter referees' dressing rooms.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

I

f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

Gab1965
Make Way For A Proper Genius, Brendan

Footer 365

Liverpool stay silent on rumours Jordan Henderson has signed five-year contract at club

Liverpool have declined to comment on reports midfielder Jordan Henderson has signed a new five-year deal at the club.

Chelsea's Kurt Zouma explains 'job' on Marouane Fellaini

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has given an insight into his Marouane Fellaini mission in the 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Tom Cleverley credits Tim Sherwood for turning around Villa's fortunes

Tom Cleverley says Aston Villa have been transformed by Tim Sherwood's attacking mentality.

Mail Box

Klopp Over Rodgers? Not On Your Nelly

Liverpool fans have short memories and should give Rodgers more time, while Jose's tactics and claims are getting many more in a stew. It's the afternoon Mailbox...

Thank You And Goodbye, Mr Rodgers

The genius of Tactics Tim, time is up for Rodgers, the curious case of Eric Lamela, and the flaws of tactical voting - today's Mailbox is bursting at the seams...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company