Leonardo Nascimiento is already history at PSG. The former Brazilian player and coach, who arrived at the Parisian team in 2019 to take charge of the sports management, has said goodbye to the French champion through the back door, quietly and without making a sound after a convulsive season and with the renewal of Mbapp as the flag of a new stage in which he has no place.
Now, Leonardo has been honest in an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe in which he has reviewed his entire stage as in charge of making the PSG squad as well as all the current topics of the team.
An unofficial exit
“We talked about it with the club. Maybe it’s just the way I am, but it always seems pathetic to me to say ‘thank you very much, bye…’ It wasn’t important to make a press release. My relationship with PSG has always been linked to too strong an emotion. I leave with zero bitterness! Honestly zero! Then I have my point of view, of course, but this is not the time for that. It is to thank Qatar and Paris for giving me this opportunity, and I’m not doing it out of demagoguery. My balance is that everything could have been done better, it is always possible.”
The tie against Madrid? Today it is difficult to be concentrated for more than 90 minutes…”
The elimination of Champions against Real Madrid
“We hoped to go through, of course, like then Chelsea or Manchester City… it’s an issue that you have to think about. Nowadays you have so many things around football, so many things on your mind, that it is not easy to stay focused for more than ninety minutes. Today there are much more players, there is a business behind it and a lot is at stake. But the reality is that I think we could have scored more. There were times when we thought maybe it was better to wait or it was better to move on.”
After the 2021 market you lose against Madrid and everyone thinks ‘what a shit…’
His departure, a condition for Mbapp to renew?
“No, they didn’t tell me that. But I don’t want to get into those things. And the fact of having kept a player of this level, French and Parisian, is important for PSG and Ligue 1.”
“It is your criterion that it is shocking that the night in which Mbapp renews and we win the title occurs. Judging is easier than making a decision. Making decisions is not easy. You made your decision, it may surprise you, but it’s your decision. Everyone is under pressure.”
would have followed?
“Yes. But these are things that happen. There are unexpected situations that occur. I am pragmatic, in three years many things happen. Some things that happen internally must stay that way. When we break up, there’s no good way to say no.”
Does your exit hurt?
“A little. Of course. It’s normal not to see each other anymore. But it’s understandable, if it hadn’t happened now it would be next year or in two years. Fifteen years I wouldn’t be here.” So I have no right to complain because it will be done anyway.”
“Sure. Really, you don’t regret it first because you only know you’re wrong later. It’s part of football. They take thousand decisions in a period in which a company would take three times as long. That’s why I never thought to worry for not doing everything right.”
The 2021 market
“When they arrive three young talents like Hakimi (then 22 years old), Nuno Mendes (19 years old) and Donnarumma (22 years old then), Ramos, Wijnaldum and Messi, you say to yourself… what is this? Everybody said it. Then you lose against Real Madrid in the round of 16 and ‘what a shit, it’s the sports management, it’s the team…’.”
“Regarding the signing of Messi, it was something unexpected. I think about it and I say I have participated in the only transfer of Messi in his career! There is Pel, Maradona and him, so when I take stock From my time here I tell the Champions League final, the League and Cup titles… and his signing.
I’m leaving with a Champions League final, several national titles… and the signing of Messi”
Criticized for not selling enough players
“You can’t have it all. PSG is a club that takes risks when it comes to investments. At other clubs you have the same concerns, and if you pay an important player a large amount and then things go wrong, it’s complicated. No it was a good moment for sales because no one could buy but, honestly, I don’t think I’ll leave the club because we haven’t sold”.
If you pay a big player a big amount and then things go wrong, it’s complicated.”
“PSG is already a very competitive team in the Champions League. We reached a final that we lost with dignity against Bayern, then we fell in the semi-finals with Manchester City… You look at the 2021 market and the players we brought in and realize how much progress has been made.”
The balance of PSG in recent years
“We could do better. But they are two different stages. The initial one, 2011, of construction and with a blank page. And now, being able to do something exceptional. I have Qatar to thank. It was intense to be able to have that idea of creating something even after you left.”
Criticism of PSG for not winning the Champions League
It is judged differently. A national side, for those who follow, live and feel the club every day. And then the international side, who see it together. And so, PSG is huge. world elite.