Leonardo: We're one of Europe's best
Inter Milan coach Leonardo has sprung to the defence of his team's record this season after coming under heavy criticism. Last year under Jose Mourinho, Inter won an unprecedented treble in Italian football, but this season has been much less successful.
Inter were knocked out of the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League by Schalke 04 in the quarter-finals, they're in a battle with Napoli for second place in Serie A and are in the Italian Cup semi-finals.
"I think this year we had the squad to fight on all fronts and in truth, that's what we did," said a defiant Leonardo.
"You can say what you want and read the situation how you want, but the facts are that we're second in the league, we went out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals, which means we're in the top eight sides in Europe, and we're still fighting for the Italian Cup.
"It's true that certain games proved decisive towards our results, but I think that in terms of consistency we're one of the best teams in Europe."
Inter Milan are preparing for tomorrow's match with Fiorentina knowing the match might be rendered meaningless if AC Milan beat Roma at the Stadio Olimpico today. Eight points separate the two city rivals with three games left to play, meaning Milan will secure the title with victory while anything but an Inter win over Fiorentina will also hand Massimiliano Allegri's side the Scudetto.
The Brazilian also batted away questions about his future, but told reporters at Inter's Appaino Gentile training base that working in Italy was becoming a chore.
"My situation hasn't changed and I've said it a million times before, I will try to remain as enthusiastic as the first day I arrived," Leonardo said. "I've never had any doubts and I want to continue here next season.
"I'm still Brazilian and it's not my place to talk about the problems in Italy as if I was Italian. But you should all think about this question. Why does every coach approached by Italy say he doesn't want to come here.
"Even the Italians abroad (don't want to come back). That's the question you have to think about and which also makes me angry. [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Roberto] Mancini, [Marcello] Lippi, [Andre] Villas Boas. Why? I don't know. I've been here 13 years and maybe I'm like you [reporters], I can't see anything any more. The Italians don't want to come back and the foreigners are saying no as well."