(CNN) -- Inter Milan's new coach Leonardo has revealed how he consulted with former Nerazzurri boss Jose Mourinho before deciding to take on the job. The Brazilian has spent much of his playing and coaching career at city rivals AC Milan but after his chat with Mourinho was convinced he was ready to take over from the sacked Rafael Benitez. "I called him because I don't think you could come to Inter without going through him," Leonardo told the Italian club's official website. "We exchanged ideas on lots of things and I now share his opinions on lots of things. "He knows everything about this place, because he's still here in spirit -- he left everything here. I'm very happy about what he told me. I rate Mourinho as a true world-beater," he added. Football's heroes and villains of 2010 Mourinho left in late May for Real Madrid after leading Inter to the Champions League, Serie A, Italian Cup treble. Despite Inter's faltering league performances this season under Benitez, Leonardo is convinced that he does not need to make wholesale changes. "Inter are a ready-made team, there's no need to start over. This side has won everything, but in its own way," the 41-year-old former World Cup winner said. "It has its own identity and the players know what to do, when to play and how to play. My job is to create the right conditions for them to be able to do that well." Benitez went after complaining, in the aftermath of Inter's Club World Cup triumph, that club president Massimo Moratti had not given him the funds to strengthen his injury-hit squad. Leonardo believes there is enough quality at Inter to repeat last season's successes. "I've noticed that all the players here, and not only the players, are hugely motivated," he said. "We don't have to invent anything here, just get back to doing the great things that Inter has already shown it can do over the last few years." Inter go into the second half of the Serie A season 13 points behind leaders AC Milan, but with two games in hand, and into the last 16 of the Champions League where they will play Bayern Munich in a repeat of the 2010 final.