‘A love pact’ – Excerpts from Leao’s autobiography on Furlani, Cardinale and his renewal

By Oliver Fisher -

Today marks the official release of Rafael Leao’s autobiography ‘Smile’ at the Mondadori store in the Duomo in central Milano, and various interesting excerpts have already emerged.

There are many different segments which are also inevitably dedicated to Milan, with a passage on page 147 standing out in which Leao talks about the negotiations for the renewal of his contract until 2028, with his comments relayed by Calciomercato.com.

“Anyone would like to play for Milan… I wanted to stay to complete a period of growth that I had started and to show how much I could still give as a footballer and as a man,” it reads.

“Winning the Scudetto had shown me how good it was to win as a team. My renewal was never a push and pull due to money issues, as many have said and I didn’t even have any doubts about the technical direction the team was taking.

“It took some time, but upon signing my thoughts were clear: it is not an economic pact, but a love pact.”

Leao renewed his Milan contract last May until 2028 and Record in Portugal made the claim at the time that Lille would pay the fine owed to Sporting CP after the termination of his deal back in 2018 following an incident at the training ground.

Then, it was stated that Milan actually paid that sum to Lille to then send on to Sporting CP, in exchange for removing the sell-on clause as part of the renewal, but recently news came out suggesting the Portuguese side would appeal again.

It is something that has been hanging over Leao for some time now, but he does not feel that it is an issue that concerns him any more.

“According to Italian law, I am now finally free from my debt. I must also thank Milan, who were always very close to me during that difficult period.”

Leao also mentioned both CEO Giorgio Furlani and owner Gerry Cardinale, revealing the affection and esteem that he has received from two men right at the top of the club.

“I certainly have to thank Giorgio Furlani. He’s a great person, we talk to each other often… he always tries to speak to me in Portuguese. His presence and constant support help me win on and off the pitch, as well as grow as a person.

“The same thing I have to say about Gerry Cardinale: every time he sees me we talk and you can see that he loves me and wants me to stay at Milan.”


Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale Giorgio Furlani Rafael Leao

1 Comment

  1. I love Rafa, but sweet baby Jesus, he’s only 24. He’s barely started on his professional / life journey. Autobiographies need to wait until there’s a story to tell, otherwise they can be a wee bit on the boring side!

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