MILAN - AC Milan coach Leonardo has warned fellow Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho that it is time for him to regain his stunning form of old before it is too late. "He's getting better, he's returning. It's now or never," Leonardo told a news conference before his league debut as a coach in Milan's Serie A opener at Siena on Saturday. "Now is his moment for Milan and for the national team." The twice FIFA World Player of the Year's career has been sliding since Brazil's disappointing 2006 World Cup campaign after helping Barcelona win the Champions League and a second consecutive Spanish title that year. The playmaker made a bright start after moving to Milan last year but faded out of contention for a starting slot following a knock and lost his national team place as a result. Kaka's move to Real Madrid means he will get a chance to prove he is still a match-winner in Serie A and Leonardo said he must grab it by showing greater consistency. "It was beautiful to see him in training today," said Leonardo, who was given the job of replacing Carlo Ancelotti despite having no previous coaching experience. "He must do what he did today all the time. I'll do everything to get him and the whole team at their best." Leonardo said going through a pre-season in which his side won just two out of 11 contests was a tough experience, but also a useful one. "I wasn't expecting such a hard month but today I feel much stronger, more inside the team," he said. "I've understood lots of things and I like being a coach more and more because finding responses from the players pushes me forward."
21 August 2009
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