Tuttosport: Leao must learn from Mbappe as Champions League struggles continue

By Isak Möller -

Rafael Leao had a tough evening yesterday as AC Milan faced Paris Saint-German in the third round of the Champions League group stage. Unlike Kylian Mbappe, who is the star of the home side, the Rossoneri star didn’t impress. 

After no goals in the first two games, many Milan fans were hoping that the first one would come against PSG last night. However, the struggles continued for the Rossoneri and above all Leao, who didn’t look at all convincing (he was rated at 4.5/10 in our ratings).

As highlighted by today’s edition of Tuttosport (via MilanNews), both teams entered the game with a star each, namely Mbappe and Leao. Only the former lived up to the expectations, scoring the opening goal and leading his side while the Portuguese winger struggled to impose himself.

Leao’s struggles in Europe are evident, having not scored for over a year, and in 25 appearances between Europa League and Champions League, he has just three goals. The Milan star must learn from Mbappe, who not only used his quality but put in the right effort, working very hard from start to finish.

Tags AC Milan Kylian Mbappe Rafael Leao


  1. I would agree but you would also have to take into the calculation how his teammates did, or better said their teammates. I think Mbappe had a much easier job, even though he is still twice the player Leao is, a generational talent. If they switched places and Leao was at PSG I don’t doubt he would be on the scoresheet, and I think Mbappe would leave at the end of season if he was at Milan, who would want to play with players that play like this against top teams? It isn’t an exception, it is becoming a rule. My local match comentator said this “Only Leao and Maignan look like players that can play against PSG, nobody else.” He is right. Theo is there but not right now with his bad form, others, no.

    1. Exactly it was not only mbappe who decided the match the whole psg players played well and the defense was very good organised.

      1. Their whole attack was playing, their midfield was 20 times better than Milan, and people expect Leao do win the games alone or rate him lower than some really bad performers. This is only the expectation, but if you consider it realistically, he was better than most players rated at 5 or 5.5 by this portal. It is cowardice to give “popular” ratings because people will attack Leao of course. What did Reijnders do that whole game? Why aren’t people bashing him, he is useless against good teams and let Zaire-Emery assist for the 1st goal. Literally let him.

        1. “What did Reijnders do that whole game? Why aren’t people bashing him, ”

          Leao acts like a superstar who doesn’t want to defend and gets 3-4x more salary than Reijnders. People expect more from players earning the top dollars. I thought that that was bloody obvious to ANYONE who has ever watched any (team) sports. Funny how one has to educate some people here from week to week.

    2. Oh so now it is Leao’s teammates who are at fault because Leao doesn’t have a nose or instinct for goal?
      It was the 10th minute when Pulisic ran down the right wing and sent a cross to the 2nd post. Giroud was at the center and on the far post one would expect Leao to be, but no Leao was nowhere in the picture. Theo from the full back position was the only Milan player in the box besides Giroud. Leao is scared and allergic of the penalty box.
      Milan had a set piece in the first half. 3 players were standing over the ball, Giroud, Krunic and Tomori, who end up taking the shot, while Leao was holding his own nuts in the Milan wall. Is it his teammates fault that Leao cant shoot even a set piece?
      If that’s the excuse for his poor scoring ability at Milan , what is the excuse for his poor scoring ability when he is with the Portugal NT?
      In the last 4 games in which he finally started, Leao scored zero goals. Playing vs Slovakia 2x, Bosnia and Luxemburg. Portugal scored 18 goals in those 4 games, Leao scored NONE. Leao was the first player to be subbed off and the lowest rated Portugal player in those games.
      Leao in European competition has scored a total of 3 goals in his career on top of scoring a total of 3 goals for Portugal NT.
      Mbappe and Leao do not belong in the same article or same sentence.
      Mbappe goal vs Milan was his 292 senior career goal for club or country.
      Leao has scored a total of 60 goals in his professional career.
      Leao and Mbappe are the same age, 6 months separates them.
      So based on the numbers Mbappe is 5 times the player Leao is, not only twice.
      At some point you will run out of excuses and people to blame and will finally see the truth.
      Great athlete, below average footballer.

      1. Yes, I said the same thing about Mbappe being better but you’re just cherry picking things that work for your story. I don’t waste time on clowns like that anymore. Try using the full stats, which league those players played, number of dribbles, key passed, chances created and the level of teammates. Just one question, you suggest that Leao should have score more with Giroud and Messias as his teammates, while Mbappe played with Messi and Neymar? Ok. Also, anyone calling Leao a below average footballer is special, I know enough about you, you don’t even have to reply. Which truth clown? That the team around one of the most exciting wingers on the planet is horrible and that they built the team from players that cost 20M? Leao is the only constant in this team along with Hernandez, and if you don’t understand what his strenghts are it is your problem, not mine. But just read what football experts say about Leao. That is a billion times more worth than your lousy un-educated opinion. Fact.

      2. I again wasted my time but you’re a joke of a person. You have some hate for Leao and he won the title and got Milan to CL semi finals. Alone in some games, yes. With 10 deadwoods next to him.

        1. Great talk.
          Perfect example of fanboyism.
          Emotional response to facts and resorting to insults because someone told you the truth about the object of your fanboyism.
          Leao is a pace merchant.
          If you take the speed away, there is nothing else to show for.
          Outrunning people isn’t dribbling.
          Leao can’t shoot, that’s why all of his shots are wide or in the 2nd thier of the stadium. That’s why he never steps to shoot set pieces or penalties. But I guess it’s the 10 deadwood next to him fault.
          He won the scudetto by himself with 11 goals and 10 assists. Weakest mvp in serie A history.
          Berrardi had 15 and 15 that season playing with even bigger deadwood than Leao.
          Oh and you said every coach and top player talks about Leao. How come every top club doesn’t come and save leao from playing with 10 deadwoods?
          Chelsea paid 120 and 130 mil for 2 defensive midfielders in Enzo and Caicedo but only offered 70 mil for the great Leao. No other top club has shown any interest in buying Leao. They might see something that you can’t see.
          Mbappe would score in serie A with ease. And be leao played in Portugal and France before he came to the weakest serie A in history.
          Keep looking for excuses.
          Milan had the best defense in the scudetto season but somehow leao with pedestrian numbers won the scudetto by himself. Hakan had the same goal contributions as leao that season Asa a midfielder.

        2. “I again wasted my time but you’re a joke of a person. ”

          Reading this comment FROM YOU made my day. LOL. Thanks for the laughs!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

      3. I agree with u. Leao must work hard. He must work on curling balls. U won’t get easy chances in big matches but he should score on some of the half chances he gets. He poorly curled two balls and if it was Mbape those balls would have entered the net. Okafor has to be given the chance to start matches with Leao on the bench. Leao is no where near a star player who can single handedly decide matches.
        He needs to work hard

  2. I read somewhere a comment saying “there’s your difference between Mbappe and Leao. One is a killer and the other has fun playing football”.

    Hit that nail hard.

      1. It rather means he’s not focused and hungry like Mbappe who goes “all in” into each match. He’s just out there doing some flicks and not putting much effort as well.

        1. True. There are so many massive differences between Mbappe & Leao so comparing them doesn’t even make sense. Everything starts with the attitude. Mbappe is a winner who wants to win. Leao? Who knows what he wants. At least he doesn’t look like he wants to win.

  3. 25 appearances between Europa League and Champions League and three goals. Wow. That sums it up. Mediocre. Not the star people claim he is.

    1. Yes, and how many assists and dribbles that literally got Milan to the semi finals of CL last year? 😀 Hahahahahahah, I can’t wait until Leao goes to a proper team and shows you how much you don’t understand. Every single top player or coach always mentions Leao, why? Because they know and see it, you don’t.

      1. Unfortunately, you watch the game but don’t see it. Leao has million dollar physique and feet,nickel for a brain. Good news, he still has time. But it is ticking. Forza Milan!!

      2. “Hahahahahahah, I can’t wait until Leao goes to a proper team and shows you how much you don’t understand. ”

        LOL. Let’s get back to the subject then. Although it will be you who will be embarrassed… Balotelli 2.0

    2. Give critics is okay but disrespect towards an important player who helped this club won a scudetto and brought it back to Champions League again is just disgusting.

      1. He is not completely wrong, though. Leao is a good player, but he is not as good as people claims him to be. Fans are in the wrong for making it seem like it’s a one player sport. It’s not his fault we commit so many unnecessary fouls, not his fault we concede so many goals against a good opposition. But as our star player he needs to step up in big matches, he is wasteful of the opportunities we create for him, things can’t continue like this, we need better tactics on how to create more and better goal scoring opportunities.

      2. “Give critics is okay but disrespect towards an important player who helped this club won a scudetto and brought it back to Champions League again is just disgusting.”

        Disgusting? No. Just honest truth. What did I say that was so “disgusting”? Do you support Krunic? Calabria? Florenzi? Or Tatarusanu last year? Have you EVER said anything negative about any Milan player? If you have (and I bet you have) then you’re just being a major hypocrite. 🙂

  4. I don’t think that is a health comparison, Mbappe earns more than 100 million a year more. Comparing Leao to Kvara for example makes more sense.

  5. There is a possibilty that Rafa will replace Mbappe at PSG next season if the latter moves to Real Madrid. Campos, the sporting director of PSG, is a big fan of Leao.

    If Leao is sold next year, Milan can finally be able to sign the 20+ goals striker like Sesko that fans are calling for. Pulisic, Okafor, Chukwueze and Romero were brought in for the purpose of possibly selling Rafa next season, IMO

  6. Only a biased and foolish Milan fans would even compare Leao to Mbappe, All Leao has are his speed, his play9ing style are just trying to passed someone with his pace thats all nothing extraordinary, Mbappe are on a different level enough said, i just hope that ome foolish EPL activated Leao clause and we can perhaps use that money to get Kvaratskhelia instead.

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