|Spelling||Leonardo de Araujo|
|PSG Sporting Director|
|Org||Brazil National Team|
|Paris Saint-Germain [PSG]|
|Club as Player||AC Milan|
- 1998 07 12
- World Cup 1998 final where France defeat Brazil 3-0. Zinedine Zidane score 2 goals with assist from Emmanuel Petit and Youri Djorkaeff. also final goal came from Emmanuel Petit with assist by Patrick Vieira
2017 02 17 Retrieve
[While some critics, such as Sagnol, remain skeptical about Leonardo’s ability to deliver results in the transfer market, the Brazilian insists that he is full of energy for the job] I am really happy to come back to PSG once again.
This club has been so important to me in my football career and in my life. I had really emotional moments here both as a player in the late 90s and more recently as sporting director along with our chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on my return to the club in 2011.
Today, I come back to Paris full of energy to rejoin this club that I deeply respect
2019 05 26 Retrieve
[It was hoped that Leonardo, Gennaro Gattuso and Paolo Maldini could bring the glory days back to San Siro but they are all now facing the sack. Leonardo enthused ahead of the start of the 2018-19 season] The beautiful thing about today is that we now have myself, Paolo and Gennaro in the sporting sector of the club
[Leonardo even admitted earlier in the season that the club’s summer transfer plans would be determined by their final Serie A standing] If this Milan finishes fourth, then we will have a major window in June. However, if the club’s goals are not met, there will be no major signings and the current players on big deals will not be retained
: 2019 05 29 AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis wants to appoint Paolo Maldini as technical director following Leonardo’s departure
2019 07 08 Retrieve
[Neymar’s father insists PSG knew about late pre-season return] The reason [for his absence] is known and was scheduled one year ago, with the annual schedule of his institute, and we couldn’t change it. His return will be on the 15th. It’s as simple as that… no controversy. And PSG are aware and are part of the institute’s actions. We have commercial and institutional programs. Those dates were scheduled a month ago. PSG were informed - they were even present at the event last year. The Neymar Institute organises these events every year and everybody know the dates. We scheduled this year’s dates on July the 10th. On the 13th, there’s the Neymar Jr’s Fives tournament and then after these dates, he will be present at PSG on the 15th like we informed the club weeks ago
2019 07 08b Retrieve
[Leonardo has said Neymar is allowed to leave the club but says there have been no offers despite ‘superficial’ talks with Barcelona] Neymar can leave PSG, if there is an offer that suits everyone. But to date, we do not know if anyone wants to buy him or at what price. All this is not done in a day, that’s for sure. It’s clear to everyone [that Neymar wants to leave], but in football, you say one thing today and tomorrow another. It’s amazing but it’s like that. We talked with his entourage too. Everyone knows everything. The position is clear for all participants. But one thing is concrete today: he still has three years of contract with us and since we have not received an offer, we cannot discuss anything
PSG wants to rely on players who want to stay and build something big. We do not need players who would do a favour for the club by staying here
[Although Leonardo confirmed informal talks with Barcelona about a potential deal, he said no offer has been made for the 27-year-old] We have not received any offers. But we had, it’s true, very superficial contacts [with Barcelona]. They said they wanted to buy but we were not sellers. [Bartomeu] is the one saying it, but we did not see that Barcelona was really in a buyer position
[Leonardo’s comments come on the same day PSG announced that they will take action against the Brazilian attacker after he missed training on Monday, though his father says the club had already agreed to the delay] He wasn’t here in training. He had to arrive and he did not arrive. But he knew he had to be there. We will study the measures we need to take, as we would do for all employees. He made commitments to his institute and a sponsor, but these were not dates agreed with the club. However, he played his last game on June 6. The holidays were until July 8th and he didn’t come
[Asked when Neymar will report for training] I do not know. The only thing I know is that he was not there on the scheduled date, July 8th
2019 07 08b Retrieve
[Leonardo has confirmed the club will not pursue a deal for Matthijs de Ligt, believing it is too expensive despite the Ajax star being a great player] De Ligt will not come to PSG. There was a possibility. He is a great player but it was not a good time to make a big investment. We must calm down a little. We don’t have an envelope of €200 million to spend
We need a defensive midfielder and maybe a player to complete the central defense. In attack, we have many solutions. It will also be important this season to see young players get on the main team. But there is also important data, it should not be hidden: it is financial fair play. The rules and criteria in force must be respected
[With De Ligt not an option, Leonardo was also asked about another high-profile centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly] [Koulibaly] is a very expensive player. There is no specific project for the moment. But I do not want to talk too much about individual cases
2019 07 09 Retrieve
[Leonardo says Kylian Mbappe is a priority for Paris Saint-Germain though the Brazilian does not believe he is in any position to promise club supporters that their young star will be staying put] There’s no doubt he’s a priority for us or not. Mbappe is here and he is very important to the club, there’s no question about it. When training resumed on Monday, he arrived with a great attitude - a big smile on his face. As always. He’s very charismatic, the fans love him. It’s important to have a player like him in the team - one who’s young and always happy and smiling
I never make promises for two reasons. Firstly because I am not the person who is responsible for everything that happens at this club and secondly, I don’t want to throw promises up into the air without being sure that they can be kept. I’m only interested in reality, and what we know for sure today
2019 07 20 Retrieve
[Leonardo, has admitted that he is prepared to part with a fellow Brazilian if a deal can be done which suits all parties] Neymar can leave PSG, if there is an offer that suits everyone. But to date, we do not know if anyone wants to buy him or at what price. All this is not done in a day, that’s for sure. It’s clear to everyone [that Neymar wants to leave], but in football, you say one thing today and tomorrow another. It’s amazing but it’s like that. We talked with his entourage too. Everyone knows everything. The position is clear for all participants. But one thing is concrete today: he still has three years of contract with us and since we have not received an offer, we cannot discuss anything
PSG wants to rely on players who want to stay and build something big. We do not need players who would do a favour for the club by staying here
2019 07 20b Retrieve
[Leonardo says Paris Saint-Germain have not received a concrete offer for Ney] Honestly, there is nothing different from the last time we talked. Nothing at all. It has not moved. There is no concrete offer for Neymar, he is with us. He is a player for Paris Saint-Germain. I repeat, there is no concrete offer. It’s been the same situation for 10 days
[Leonardo said the mooted signing of Idrissa Gana Gueye from Everton was just a possibility] The squad is already competitive, there is a bit of everything, young players, very experienced players. We targeted a central defender and a defensive midfielder. The central defender has arrived with Abdou Diallo, and now we are looking for the midfielder
2019 08 10 Retrieve
[When asked for an update on the long-running Neymar saga] Talks are more advanced than before, but no agreement. We will see what happens - everybody needs the future to be defined
2019 08 15 Retrieve
[Leonardo has dismissed reports that Neymar has been removed from the squad because he wants to leave the club] It’s false. He has not been removed from the group. He is following a personalised rehabilitation program. He is a Paris-Saint-Germain player, there are still three years left on his contract in Paris, we must not forget that. We must analyse everything, we must fix everything before he can play again. Things are simple, Neymar was monitored by several great doctors and surgeons early in the season and his fracture is fully consolidated on the fifth metatarsal. Neymar’s injury is completely healed
There are discussions for his future as you know it today but nothing advanced. Neymar made mistakes. You know, I didn’t know him. As the days go by, I get to know him. And I honestly think he’s a good boy with a very good background. And on the pitch, he’s an amazing player
2019 08 30 Retrieve
[PSG doubt they can agree Neymar deal with Barcelona] Our position was always clear, they always knew what we wanted, it was clear in every way. The first written offer was on August 27th, five days before end of the transfer window, we were even open to talking to other players to do the deal, but we never had an agreement on what we wanted. It all depends on Barcelona, we are three days from the end of the transfer window. Today, the agreement is not there. We were open but we are three days from the end of the transfer window. Neymar’s position has always been clear, our position too, and if an offer that satisfied us arrived, he could leave, that’s not the case. The position was clear to everyone. Everyone knows, we do not agree, we know everything, we talk each other, Barcelona makes proposals, we accept or not. We tell the truth, we were open to his departure only if an offer satisfied us, this offer has not arrived, nothing is expected by Monday
We wanted a replacement and other players to complete, we were open to that. He is an extraordinary player, I did not know him, and over time, I appreciate his way of being, he’s a good guy, but it’s normal that we want to have the best possible relationship with him, and today it’s not the ideal relationship
2019 08 31 Retrieve
[PSG sporting director Leonardo believes time is running out for Barcelona to submit an acceptable offer for Neymar] Our position was always clear, they always knew what we wanted, it was clear in every way. The first written offer was on August 27th, five days before end of the transfer window, we were even open to talking to other players to do the deal, but we never had an agreement on what we wanted. It all depends on Barcelona, we are three days from the end of the transfer window. Today, the agreement is not there. We were open but we are [now] three days from the end of the transfer window. We told the truth, we were open to his departure only if an offer satisfied us. This offer has not arrived - nothing is expected by Monday
2019 09 16 Retrieve
[Leonardo sick of Neymar transfer saga] Neymar made mistakes, yes, but when the transfer window ended he came back in a positive way. He showed up on time [for training] after his matches with Brazil and he behaved very well. He played an important game in not easy conditions. And he scored a spectacular goal, in a Hollywood scenario. And, after the match, he made an honest and very good statement
It’s certain that, if we look at what he said word for word, we’ll always find things to comment on. And it’s true that we can’t say today that everything is settled. But you can’t make a Mexican telenovela around it all. We have to play and to train
He is now subject to the same internal rules as all the other players. He’s here and he’s part of the club. Neymar is not a bad guy. He’s part of the heritage of football, not just PSG. When you look at the squad, and what we have, for sure we are stronger with him
2019 11 07 Retrieve
[Zinedine Zidane discussed Kylian Mbappe’s reported admiration for Madrid as a child during a news conference] Honestly, it is a bit irritating. I think it is not the time to talk about it. First of all, Kylian is a player under contract with us for two and a half more years. Speaking all the time about dreams and will, I think it is time to stop a bit. Kylian is very important for us – he is the best young French player, a world champion and one of the best players in the world. This is not the time to knock him and destabilise him. Honestly, it is time for this to stop… Everybody wants him. However, nobody can get him
[responded to recent speculation linking coach Thomas Tuchel with the vacant Bayern Munich post] Look, I even saw something about us talking about a departure and all of that. We are in direct contact, all the time and about everything. It is true Thomas was already here when I arrived, there are many things we still need to know about each other. However, this is how it works between a sporting director and a coach who was already in place. The coach has his ideas and that is very important. Aside from that, I was never contacted by anybody – he has never asked me to leave and I have never told him anything. There is no story – nothing at all
2019 11 07b Retrieve
[Mbappe to Real Madrid talk ‘annoys’ PSG director Leonardo] Yes, it annoys me a little and it bothers. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two-and-a-half years of contract with us. It’s time to stop all this. He is very important for us. He is the best young player that France has. He is world champion and even the best player in the world. This is not the time to destabilise or touch him
[On loan Inter forward Mauro Icardi proved to be the match winner as he continued his recent good form] It is true that this is a striker who brought us experience and started very well. We needed effective players. He is always present.
But [Angel] Di Maria also makes an incredible season, Mbappe and Neymar too. Few teams have attacks like that. Competition, we created it on purpose. Today is like that and maybe in a month it will be different. But the players are there to give the coach a headache
[Leonardo also quashed any uncertainty surrounding the future of coach Thomas Tuchel] I’m in direct contact with him and we talk to each other. But no one has contacted us and there is no story. You can be sure
2019 11 08 Retrieve
[PSG director Leonardo came out this week to slam Real’s continued pursuit of Mbappe] Yes, it annoys me a little and it bothers [me]. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two-and-a-half years of contract with us. It’s time to stop all this. He is very important for us. He is the best young player that France has. He is world champion and even the best player in the world. This is not the time to destabilise or touch him
2019 11 25 Retrieve
[Real Madrid boss Zidane declares love for PSG star Mbappe. That led to Leonardo responding] It annoys me a little and it bothers me. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It’s time to stop all this
2019 11 27 Retrieve
[Leonardo laughs off Zidane ‘love’ after PSG fight back for draw] Did he say that? I hadn’t seen anything! The only thing I know is that Mbappe is 100 per cent staying here. The rest is by the by. We are moving slowly [on a new contract] but we are going forward
[The first half at the Santiago Bernabeu ended in controversy when Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was spared a red card thanks to VAR, which spotted a foul on Marcelo prior to the goalkeeper’s clumsy challenge that took down Mauro Icardi] The pictures are clear, I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about the referee. At the time of Idrissa [Gueye’s] hypothetical foul, the referee was not far from the action and he said there was no foul, then there was a penalty. Perhaps it wasn’t a red card, but he gave it, VAR called and he thought there had been a mistake, but it had already passed, it wasn’t a mistake. The rules say that he has the right to look back if it is a serious error. We can dispute that, but it wasn’t a serious mistake, he made it twice, that action could change the game. I understand [fans’ anger]. But I don’t think it is against PSG: if we look at everything that has happened over the last few years, I’d say we come out on top
2019 12 16 Retrieve
[PSG superstar Neymar’s effort & desire praised by Leonardo amid continued transfer speculation] I think Neymar is making a lot of effort in every way and also in terms of his state of mind. I think the story we have lived is real, it happened a short time ago, but I see a lot of effort on his part.
The system also forces him to go back, ditto for Kylian [Mbappe], [Mauro] Icardi too, [Edinson] Cavani always did and Pablo Sarabia and [Angel] Di Maria … they make themselves available and we also have a balance behind that we are forced to have.
Coming back to Neymar, he still has a lot to do, but I see a real desire on his part to make himself available.
I think I’m going to ask you not to ask the coach questions about the transfer window. The transfer window is a club issue. I have been in football for a long time, I know the limit of the role of the coach, the president, the communication director and that everyone does their job.
You have to stop with the coach, leave him alone, talk to him about the technical side of the team. The transfer window is a question of opportunity. This group there, for me, it is complete.
What is also positive is that we managed to play in Ligue 1 two young kids, [Adil] Aouchiche and [Tanguy] Kouassi and that is nice. In addition, I think that these are two players who will complement the workforce with their qualities
2019 12 16b Retrieve
[PSG sporting director calls for Tuchel to be left alone over transfers] I think I’m going to ask you not to ask the coach questions about the transfer window. The transfer window is a club issue. I have been in football for a long time, I know the limit of the role of the coach, the president, the communication director and that everyone does their job. You have to stop with the coach, leave him alone, talk to him about the technical side of the team. The transfer window is a question of opportunity. This group there, for me, it is complete
I think Neymar is making a lot of effort in every way and also in terms of state of mind. I think the story we have lived is real, it happened a short time ago, but I see a lot of effort on its part. The system also forces him to go back, ditto for Kylian [Mbappe], [Mauro] Icardi too, Cavani always did and Pablo Sarabia and [Angel] Di Maria. They make themselves available and we also have a balance behind that we are forced to have. Coming back to Neymar, he still has a lot to do, but I see a real desire on his part to make himself available
2020 01 20 Retrieve
[Leonardo reveals Atletico Madrid target wants out of PSG] We always said the same thing for Cavani. We hoped that he would stay at the club. Today, he asked to leave. We are studying the situation. We had a proposal from Atletico Madrid. We did not have a proposal worthy of the player’s worth. [But] I’m not sure Cavani will be here in February.
Today, there is nothing [to say he will leave]. But he has made the proposal to leave. We’ve never thought about selling him before. We will see how it turns out in the coming days, but we are listening to Cavani because we respect him. It’s a little clearer now, with him at the end of his contract.
[Leonardo admitted that while there were options to cover the 32-year-old’s potential exit, there would be no rushed decisions made about the player’s future] We have players who can play everywhere. There are many alternatives. [But] it’s hard to replace a player like Cavani. We must decide with lucidity. Like I said, we never thought about [selling him], but we are listening. The most important thing is balancing everybody’s desire. You can’t influence the [rest of the] group either. We [and Cavani] have always spoken with a lot of peace. We are talking about a story of six and a half years between us, not a week. There is a lot of respect between us
2020 02 09 Retrieve
[Leonardo has defended adorable Kylian Mbappe from criticism] I heard things about Mbappe, on his personality. It makes me feel uncomfortable. If a player leaves the field, and talks to the coach, ok … He is at fault. We will talk about it and settle this. But to say that he is a spoiled child, I don’t accept that. Because he’s an adorable, very committed person and a fantastic player.
[The former Brazil international then asked a journalist in attendance who they thought the top five players in the world were] In the Top 4, there is one 35 years old, another 32 years old and the other two they are 28 and 21 years old. And these two are with us. Let us rejoice. I am a happy sports director. We should take advantage of that. It’s the joy of football. We have to stop talking about the problems
[There is a perception they are held back by the strength of the French league] We say that this team is not ready, that Ligue 1 is not at the level. That the club does not know how to manage its stars. I want to understand why? Because we have the right to be happy from time to time. The team is 1st, with 12 points ahead. We have an incredible squad. Our best players are in shape. Why do we have to be worried every time when the last sixteen arrives? Why do we have to stress? It won’t be a matter of life and death against Borussia. We’re just playing a Champions League match. I think the team is ready. If we win, that’s good. Otherwise, too bad, PSG will continue to grow. We have to get out of this
2020 06 13 Retrieve
[Leonardo confirms Cavani and Thiago Silva to leave PSG this summer] Cavani and Thiago Silva? Yes, we are coming to the end. The idea is to continue playing with them until the end of August. It was a very difficult decision to make; these are players who have marked the history of the club. Their stories were so beautiful. But yes, we are coming to the end. We had to make a logical decision, economically speaking and with regard to the generation that is coming through. Maybe we are wrong, I do not know, there is never a perfect moment. Now the Champions League is still in sight and the idea is to continue competing with them until the end of August. How it can be done is not yet clear [legally].
2020 06 14 Retrieve
[Leonardo says Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva set to leave Paris St-Germain] It was a difficult decision to make - they are players who made their mark on the club’s history. The stories were so beautiful. But, yes, we are coming to the end
We had to make a logical decision. Maybe we are wrong, I do not know - there is never a perfect moment. Now the Champions League is still in sight, and the idea is to continue competing with them until the end of August. How it can be done is not yet clear
[When asked if forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe would still be at the club next season] Nothing tells us otherwise. They still have two years on their contracts and we’re more thinking about the future with them. We want to go forward
2020 06 14b Retrieve
[Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer] It was a really difficult decision to take. [Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani] are players who have had a big impact on this club’s history. You always wonder if you should carry on down the same path together or if it’s better to avoid a scenario where you’ve stayed for one year too many. It’s been such a wonderful journey, but we’re coming to the end. We had to make a logical decision, both in financial terms and also considering the next generation of players coming through. Maybe it’s the wrong decision, I don’t know. There’s never a perfect moment. The Champions League is still on the agenda and the plan is to remain in the competition with them until the end of August
2020 06 14c Retrieve
[PSG’s Leonardo confirms that Tuchel will stay on as manager] He has one year left on his contract and he will be on the bench next season. He has done well, the results are good. An extension? We have time to think about it. I surveyed no coach. Never. With Tuchel, we talked, he knows everything. It’s very clear, there’s nothing with anyone
It’s terrible for clubs because it places us in complex situations where we have the choice between letting go or overpaying. At PSG, there is competition. So, at 16-17 years old, it’s difficult to claim a place. And generally, since they don’t play, they don’t sign and go to clubs that have been courting them for two years. His (Kouassi’s) case is different, he found himself in the rotation without having yet signed a contract. It may be an error on my part, because the custom in this business is: ‘you do not sign, you do not play’. But his performance levels took priority. We probably have our responsibilities if we do not manage to keep our youngsters
2020 06 14d Retrieve
[Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has affirmed his intention to tie Kylian Mbappe and Neymar down to the club on a long-term basis] There’s nothing that tells us they’ll leave this summer. They both still have two years left on their contracts and we’re thinking about what we can do next with them. We want to move forward. Mbappe is the future of PSG. This is what everyone wants. The ideal scenario would be for him to extend his contract. He’s already among the best five players in the word. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are 32 and 35, Neymar and Mbappe are 28 and 21 and they are with us. There’s no need to overthink it. We have to take advantage of having them because they’re something huge. We have to find a solution to continue together
We’ve not talked about it any more. He’s been very happy, he’s had a great season and he’s been very involved with the 3 squad