GdS: From derby drought to Leao’s potential – Fonseca day has arrived

By Ben Dixon -

Today marks the start of a new era, and whilst it began last month, it did not fully feel like an immersion into a new project. After all, today is the day that Paulo Fonseca arrives at AC Milan for his first day in the office.

Whilst his arrival was announced a while ago, he has not fully arrived at the club, given he has yet to step foot into Milanello as head coach. However, his job has not only just begun.

As Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports, the job has consumed his life in recent weeks, and the Portuguese manager has spent more time focusing on the Rossoneri than his holiday in Greece. What has he been doing, you may ask? Well, studying for every inch of his team, from current players to new ones.

It is no secret that this mercato is huge for Milan and several elements need to be rectified before there is a credible title challenge by the Diavolo, but the base is phenomenal. Fonseca has already identified his ‘pillars’ and has met with Rafael Leao, who had a poor European Championship campaign.

Arriving alongside him today is his coaching staff, and his family will arrive later.

Today is the start of the new Milan project, which will be treated as such. It will be a day for settling in, and taking in his surroundings, but it will not be an easy day by any means, as everyone knows there is work to be done. Then, on Monday, he will meet the press for the first time as the Rossoneri’s head coach and lead the first training session.

Fonseca has studied religiously for today and the days that will follow. He is tasked with ending the Inter humiliation, and whilst he knows he doesn’t have the same connection with the team that Simone Inzaghi has built in recent years, he has a month and a half to put across his ideas, which he hopes will also help create a stronger unit – in both offensive and defensive departments.

Whilst this is being worked on, he must also work on re-finding Leao. The Portuguese star struggled at the European Championship, and whilst his numbers were not awful last season, they were not the step that was imagined before the season’s start. Leao is Milan’s gem, which Fonseca sees, and wants the best from, and he will do so upon the winger’s return.

Tags AC Milan Paulo Fonseca


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  1. “poor European Championship campaign”?

    It’s evident that this writer didn’t watch Leao at all. Even though his team have been lackluster, Rafa has been a bright spot through and through. All Milan players who were on the field have shone brightly at the Euros, especially Rafa, Theo, Tijji, Mike.

    I hope Mr Fonseca has better eyes.

    1. That’s true.

      Cristiano try too hard and the Portuguese team also revolving around him, even if he is not his past self. He is now too slow, his free kick is terrible, and can’t even act as proper 9.

      His number at club is still great but that’s because Saudi league standard is still terrible.

      For the better of Portugal and himself, Ronaldo should retire from National Team after this Euro.

      On the other hand… Leaos performance this Euro really mirror his form at Milan : some spark here and there but lack of end product, sometimes he looked lost and disinterested.

      The fact that in Portugal he is not ‘the’ star doesn’t help, as he receive less ball and in less ideal position than Milan.

      Leao at Euro is not terrible but certainly doesn’t great either.

  2. So Fonseca arrived today ….. is it a one-way ticket? Suggest he makes reservation for return flight just before Xmas or just before Easter …. never to show at milanello again.

  3. “has met with Rafael Leao, who had a poor European Championship campaign.” Just say you didn’t watch the Euros and looked at the goals/assists stats alone. Leao was the most dangerous threat when played, tracked back and was mostly unplayable. He was the driving force on offence just like for Milan. France fullbacks couldn’t cope and they had to double/triple team and that still didn’t work. Not even MBappe was man marked like he was.

  4. “Leao had a poor European Championship campaign”???

    LOLOLO. Who wrote this article? A donkey? So many amateurs claiming to be journalists nowadays with social media.


    1. Very very embarrassing. No way one looks at his euro performance and say it was poor. That’s lazy journalism
      I was actually thinking some rich club might even activate his clause..he looked more dangerous than Kylian

  5. Yes, if we are looking at the stats only, leao didn’t have a great tournament.
    But then again it was all on martinez and Ronaldo.
    Ronaldo shouldn’t have been the central figure of the team.
    I can’t believe Ronaldo was played for 120 minutes.

  6. 1. Leao is what Leao is – stellar when he wants to be. But he was easily the most dangerous player at Portugal. Just look at his runs.
    2. Martinez is terrible. He wasn’t good at Belgium and he wasn’t any good now either.

    3. Playing a 40yo CR7 stunted Portugal’s threat. As did playing Pepe. Portugal has great strikers and with a more mobile striker they could have done better.

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