Costacurta highly critical of Leao: “It was like we were playing a man down”

By Oliver Fisher -

Alessandro Costacurta has criticised AC Milan winger Rafael Leao for his performance against Spurs, claiming that he proved he is ‘not one of the so-called champions’.

Leao’s performance against Tottenham seems to be splitting opinion at the moment with some acknowledging he was not brought into the game much for most of the night because of Milan’s strategy to contain and counter, but he showed bright signs when the game was stretched.

However, there are those who believe that – for a player who is supposedly demanding a huge pay rise to stay at the club – he should have been more involved and should have given the defence an outlet when under pressure.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the game, Costacurta made it very clear which side of the fence he was on, starting by branding him the ‘worst on the pitch’.

“It was like we were playing a man down until the eighty-second minute. He was the great disappointment of the evening,” he said (via MilanNews).

“I think he needs to be more determined. We had champions who stood up to the plate and are worthy of being labelled champions, and tonight he proved he is not one of the so-called champions.”

Tags AC Milan alessandro costacurta Rafael Leao


  1. I don’t like leao one of them because of his attitude, the attitude he shows doesn’t show that he wants to be a bigger player. he is selfish

  2. Daaaaaaaaamn.
    Slowly but surely people are waking up and speaking up.
    A few people in here have been saying this for over a year, but they were getting attacked by the fanboys, but over the last several months a bunch of ex coaches and ex players in a subtle way have come after Leao, but no one as directly and overtly as Costacurta.

    “We were playing a man down”

    “We had champions who stood up to the plate and are worthy of being labelled champions, and tonight he proved he is not one of the so-called champions.”

    And keep in mind who these words are coming from. Costacurta is Maldini’s close friend. Don’t put it pass him that Maldini is sending Leao a massage thru his friend. You want to get paid as a big time player, then you need to step up in big time games, not only vs Sassuolo, Verona, Sampdoria etc and just be Serie A bottom feeder.

    Leao is a great athlete who can be a very important contributor on a winning team, but he cannot be your best player. Best players don’t disappear or lack effort in big games, in those big games they actually play their best or at least put in their best effort as old man Giroud did last night

    1. I second this. His statistics across all competitions are good: 9 goals and 10 assists in 33 games. However, Rafael Leão does not perform well against more competitive opponents. I wish he changes his attitude because Rafael is lauded by some as one of the best players for his position. If Rafael truly deserves a new contract like Anthony Torgrude claims, then Rafael will step up against Udinese and Napoli.

    1. Don’t no what games you watch but I’m glad costscurta has spoken out. I have said it now for a year his attitude stinks ho doesn’t want to play for us and he says he wants more money let him go now and get the money .he is so bloody lazy for a 23year old . So come maldini cash in before he goes on a free don’t no were he would go he would have to work in the premiership and that’s to much for him.

        1. And what makes you feel that Billy & Sacchi aren’t Leao fanboys?

          That you’re a fan doesn’t make you stupid, it doesn’t clog your sense of reasoning and judgement.

          I am unapologetically a Leao “fanboy” but at the same time heavily critical of him, you don’t chestice who you don’t love, Billy is speaking out love for milan, out of love of Leao. I was so pissed watching him play and I thought that Leao and Giroud should have been taken off earlier.

          Criticism is different from hate or disapproval, Criticism can come from a place of love, that’s better to take to improve in life.

          Leao was poor against Tottenham, and even he if truthful to himself should critcise himself.
          Billy said Leao didn’t deserve an accolade of a champion for his performance of the night, he didn’t say Leao is not a good player, Billy is critical of Leao because he recognises Leao’s potential, and it hurt to watch him trying to waste all that talent.

          I strongly believe a more strict coach will improve Leao just as Alex Ferguson moulded C. Ronaldo.

          1. When I say “fanboy” I mean those who are so obsessed with him that they cannot ever see anything wrong with his performances or attitude. They think Leao shouldn’t ever be criticized for anything as after all, he was the MVP last season and that alone gives the “do not criticize”-card. 🙂

            Being a fan or being an overly obsessed fanboy is two different things. I’d say you’re a fan based on your text above. Not a delusional fanboy as you have common sense too.

  3. Contract talks that are “drawn out” always make toxic atmosphere for Milan but still continue this practice. Imo Leao is not ready yet and still has to work on his technique a lot , or we can cut ties but this saga hot and cold is becoming old.

  4. I don’t agree, he is sure not contributing on defense but he is the most important player offensively. We look totally different without him on the pitch

  5. I have being saying sell for over a year now. He is way off a £100 mil valuation closer to £70mil if we lucky. He too often does not effect a game, he drifts out when he feels like. Unacceptable. Last nights game was meant for him to showcase Leao. At least he gets another chance. Contracts talks need to finish.

  6. billy costacurta said like others milan fans about Leao. hes do nothing last milan game. less work rate and wants huge pay rise. sell him next window market.

  7. guys that deserve pay raise are mostly our defenders not leao ….his alwys missing when needed mostly…..he perform against small teams but big team his lost….better maldini cash up on him nd let him go his mind is somewere else and his letting the hype get over him

  8. Leao thinks he’s some big star. Reality check: Rich clubs are not looking up to buy him, especially after he’s contributed virtually nothing over the last couple of months. He had a great half season last year, and that’s it. His laziness and cockiness is already ruining his career. We’ll be lucky if we get ANY money for him.

  9. Pemain yang menuntut gaji besar , dia seharusnya bisa mengangkat keseluruhan tim..tapi tidak Leao…dia hanya setara 4 juta

  10. That 7m for leao is too much. 5m at best. He gets outworked and outrun by oldman giroud everygame. If He loses his pase, that will be it. Its sad that Leao and Diaz are our best attacking outlet currently. This needs to change in the summer.

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