Milan coach Leonardo has warned fellow Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho that it is time for him to deliver for Rossoneri.
“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 two-time former FIFA World Player of the Year’s career has been in decline 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 spent much of the season on the substitutes bench and lost his national team place as a result.
“It was beautiful to see him in training today,” added Leonardo, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti this summer 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 matches was a difficult experience, but also a valuable 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.”