WINNING DEBUT FOR LEONARDO

As the rest of the Feyenoord squad get settled in the Alps, on the other side of the world, Leonardo has started his international career in style with a couple of wins. After a 5-2 mauling of Haiti in which the diminutive Feyenoorder came off the bench to win his first cap, Leonardo was also brought on as a substitute in Brazil under 23s’ 2-1 beating of Panama.

Leonardo will make the long haul to Holland in time to join the rest of the Feyenoord squad Saturday. Trainer Bert van Marwijk was uncertain of the wisdom of letting Leonardo travel to Brazil. 'On the one hand I’d obviously have preferred to have him in the group from the first day of training,’ the coach explained. 'On the other, I know that Leonardo has always dreamed of playing for Brazil. I can understand that. If I had been in his shoes I’d have loved to play. That’s why I let him go to South America. Also because Leonardo has shown how much he has learned during the past six months. He went off the rails for a while, was severely punished, but then went on to make the next step in his development.’

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