Zanetti: We believe in Leonardo
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Inter Milan's players have sprung to the defence of under fire coach Leonardo following the side's crushing losses to AC Milan and Schalke 04.

Inter's season went into meltdown over the last few days as they were defeated 3-0 by AC Milan to drop five points off the Serie A summit and then shocked 5-2 at home by Schalke in the UEFA Champions League, leaving them virtually out of that competition.

Despite those losses, for captain Javier Zanetti, Leonardo is still the man to lead the Serie A club.

"He's a real man, he's an amazing person in every sense, he believes in us and we believe in him," said Zanetti, who says Leonardo is responsible for turning around the club's fortunes following Rafael Benitez's six-month tenure. "Since he came here we've been reborn and I believe he should stay here because we like him."

"We all feel bitter about the defeats to Milan and Schalke, but this team has done nothing but win for the last six years and I think some people were just waiting for the first difficulty to start criticising," Zanetti told Inter Channel.

We all feel bitter about the defeats to Milan and Schalke, but this team has done nothing but win for the last six years.
Zavier Zanetti, Inter Milan captain

"But we know how things work and luckily we'll rise above certain things. I'd be surprised if people only said good things, that would be something to worry about. Inter fans shouldn't listen to the critics, they have to use their own heads to analyse everything that's been said and written about Inter these last few days.

"We players know that when you win you're great and when you lose you're nothing," Zanetti continued. "The true Inter fan, however, knows that the team cares and from this point of view I've got nothing to reproach our fans about."

His thoughts were echoed by compatriot Esteban Cambiasso, who pointed out that Inter are the only Italians left in Europe.

"The team and the club are with Leonardo and so too are the fans," Cambiasso said. "They've shown their affection for the players who only a few months ago won the Club World Cup. We're the only [Italian] club still fighting on all [three] fronts, but some people seem to forget that.

"We've lost two important games, but we can still make up for that. It would have been worse to have lost like that in Germany [in the second leg] because then we would have been out of Europe like the other Italian clubs."