Paris Saint-Germain appoints Leonardo as sporting director
Paris Saint-Germain is pleased to announce the return of Leonardo de Araujo as sporting director, a position he previously held from 2011 to 2013.
The 49-year-old former Brazilian international, winner of the 1994 World Cup and 1997 Copa America, joins Paris Saint-Germain for the third time. As a player Leonardo signed for the club in the summer of 1996, wearing the Rouge et Bleu jersey 46 times, scoring 10 goals and helping his team reach the European Cup Winners' Cup Final in 1997 for the second year in a row.
On 27 August 1997 Leonardo played his last match for the club against Steaua Bucharest in a Champions League qualifier. Leo’s four assists whipped the Parc de Princes crowd into a frenzy as the Rouge et Bleu came back from a 0-3 first leg deficit to win 5-0 in Paris.
Leonardo ended his playing career at AC Milan in 2003, where he later became sporting director (2003-2009), coach (2009-2010) and once again sporting director (2018-2019).
In July 2011 Leonardo rejoined Paris Saint-Germain to lay the foundations for the club’s new project following the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments. Over the following two seasons the club won the Ligue 1 Championship in 2013, a title that had been craved by Paris Saint-Germain fans for nineteen years.
"I am really happy to come back to Paris Saint-Germain once again," said Leonardo on signing his contract. “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-Khelaïfi 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."
"It is always a special moment to see Leonardo return to Paris Saint-Germain," said Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Chairman and CEO of Paris Saint-Germain. “”Leo" has a place in our club’s history and we all know the role he played as sporting director at the start of our project. Paris Saint-Germain has always remained his family and we are delighted to welcome him back. His return, with his enthusiasm and talent, will bring the club into a new ambitious cycle and I am sure that this reunion will bring happiness to the Parc des Princes, which has always kept “Leo” in its heart. Leonardo is able to link the PSG generations, which is even more special with the club's 50th anniversary next year.”