French football

PSG’s sporting director Leonardo quits the club

PSG's sporting director Leonardo quits the club
Leonardo right is led awqy after barging a referee. Photo: Screen grab Canal plus.
PSG's sporting director Leonardo is stepping down, the club announced on Wednesday. The Brazilian, who was recently banned for a year for barging a referee, will quit at the end of the summer transfer window.

Just weeks after losing coach Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid, French league champions PSG were hit by another blow on Wednesday when their Brazilian director of football Leonardo announced his intention to step down.

In a statement the club said: "Leonardo today informed Paris Saint-Germain of his desire to resign from his position as Sporting Director at the end of the current transfer window.

"We regret his choice but respect his decision.

"We thanks him greatly for his important contribution towards the project of building a top European club in Paris and wish him all the best for his future career."

The Brazilian was recently handed a one-year ban for barging a referee although it is unclear whether this had anything to do with his decision to step down.

The Brazilian was originally banned for nine months, but after he appealed against the decision, French football authorities increased the sanction to 13 months.

The former AC Milan and Inter Milan coach was named as sporting director at the Paris club in July 2011 after they were taken over by wealthy investors from the Gulf state of Qatar.

He attracted top names such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and David Beckham to the Parc des Princes, but after Carlo Ancelotti stood down as manager to join Real Madrid, he was unable to attract a big-name coach to replace him.

Eventually PSG settled for former France national team coach Laurent Blanc to be in charge for the 2013/14 season.

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