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Brazil’s Leonardo named new Antalyaspor manager

Istanbul (AFP) – Ambitious Turkish top flight side Antalyaspor, which boasts a star-studded line up including Samuel Eto’o and Samir Nasri, on Thursday named Brazilian Leonardo as its new manager.

“Following talks, our club has signed a two-year agreement with Leonardo,” Antalyaspor said in a statement without giving financial details. 

Leonardo, who has previously been manager of AC Milan and Inter Milan as well as director of football at Paris Saint-Germain, replaces Riza Calimbay who stepped down after a slow start to the season.

Speculation had been rife that the former Brazilian international was joining Antalyaspor after he was spotted on Monday watching the side’s 3-0 home win over Osmanlispor from the stands.

Under chairman Ali Safak Ozturk, the club from the southern Turkish Mediterranean resort city are one of Turkey’s most ambitious sides, despite only winning promotion to the Super Lig in 2015.

Ozturk wants to break the league domination of the Istanbul giants, although the club has failed to make major inroads so far.

With Cameroon international Eto’o captain, Antalyaspor had high hopes for the new season after signing Nasri from Manchester City.

But they are languishing in 13th place in the Super Lig, with just one win in the first six games.

They were disappointed to finish the 2015-16 season in ninth place but improved to fifth place last term, just missing out on a spot in the Europa League.

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