Leao and Portugal knocked out of World Cup by impressive Morocco side

By Isak Möller -

Morocco continued their successful journey in the World Cup this afternoon as they managed to beat Portugal by one goal to nil. AC Milan star Rafael Leao has thus been knocked out of the tournament. 

Morocco created a bunch of chances in the first half and eventually managed to take the lead after a goalkeeping error. They had a few good chances after that as well but above all defended really well to keep Portugal very quiet.

Rafael Leao came off the bench once again, just like the other games, and got around 30 minutes on the pitch in total. It was a game that perhaps didn’t suit him well, with Morocco sitting back, but he still managed to create the most for Portugal.

Questions will surely be asked about Portugal manager Fernando Santos as he not only misused Leao, but also benched Cristiano Ronaldo. Having said that, credit must also be given to Morocco who played yet another good game.

Tags AC Milan Portugal Rafael Leao


  1. If you watch Leao play for Milan every week, you understand why he wasn’t misused by the Portugal coach.
    He is a player that is good for about 20-25 minutes a game, and then he dissappear. Just in his last game vs Fiorentina, he scored in the 90th second, and then he was nowhere to be found. When I pointed that out , Leao fans said they’d rather have a player that only plays good for 90 seconds but scores than someone who plays for 90 minutes and doesn’t score or assists.
    Well if you are good only for 90 seconds, then you are a bench player. You can only be an impactful sub at best, but to be a starter you need to be able to be engaged and active for 90 minutes
    Did he even play 90 minutes combined through 5 games.

    1. Im not fan of leao, this game Portugal hv lots of energy compared to Morocco.. they need someone like leao who can make those critical move.. i’d say portugal need ‘a player that only plays good for 90 seconds but scores than someone who plays for 90 minutes and doesn’t score or assists’ in this game..

      1. Well, Leao got about 25 minutes and didn’t score or assist. He had one good cross for his team and a bunch of misplaced passes, one of which led to a great counter attack for Morocco, 1v1 vs the Portugal GK

        1. Yeah, but i think he will hv more impact if he playing for 90 min.. game like this perfect for him since portugal doest need to rely on him on general play.. but well im not leao fan for the same reason of yours..

      1. While I also share a cynical view towards Leao it’s tough to critique his performances at this WC. Portugal plays with a 4-4-2 and the coach clearly sticks to this formation regardless of player selection. Leao is very much an outside attacking player who does not offer much by way of defence, so they’re not going to start him in their more traditional LW spot. He only came on when they needed a goal or when the result was safe. In another system he might be the starter because he wouldn’t be expected to track back. That said, criticisms of his overall effort are not unwarranted. It should also be said that hopefully this non-performance at the WC tempers his renewal requests.

        1. Leao’s performances have only increased his value. The English commentators adore him.
          Two goals and an assist as a sub is a fantastic return. He scored two good goals. Not every player needs to track back.

      1. “Forwards decide games in moments”

        Correction: They CAN do that. They can also cause the team to lose by not participating in the defending part. Quite often matches are 50% attacking and 50% defending. If you ignore the one of them your chances of winning goes down drastically. And it’s still a team play. As the Portugal coach, Pioli or even Arrigo Sacchi.

  2. Happy for Morocco.
    Portugal , as usual, has an abundance of talent but always underachieving.
    Ziyech has looked good this WC, impressed with his press and defensive contribution.
    I would sign him if for nothing else for his set pieces ability. That way, I won’t have to watch Tonali, Bennacer, Theo attempt to take a set piece anymore.
    Watching Amrabat bullying opposing team midfield reminded me of the good old days when Franck Kessie used to do that for Milan .
    Watch Fiorentina sell him for €50+ million

  3. Actually i am glad leao played not that much!
    Milans agenda is full this rest should doo good for such a important player for milan.

  4. I had excellent guess that Leao will be on bench, before WC even started. Now is time to put sign for 6 mill net, or to be sold in summer.

  5. Yeah yeah yeah, Leo is crap. If I were our president, I would simply terminate his contract, wow, what a lousy player, we must get rid of this rubbish ASAP!!!

  6. Oh my GOD,


    So Leao playing 25 minutes and not scoring makes him a bad player?
    I’m bewildered by your understanding honestly, judging by your yardstick, since Mbappe played 90 minutes versus England without scoring, he’s definitely a crap player.

    Yes, there’s no question about it that Leao needs to upgrade his game to be more complete, but the criticism should be constructive, I mean you gotta cut him some slack, he won the the league’s best player, decided by professionals who understand football way above your ability.
    He together with Henandez and Maignan were included in the Fifa best players list for a reason.

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