Tuttosport: Mbappe an example for Leao to follow – comparing numbers and roles

By Oliver Fisher -

Today’s edition of Tuttosport talks about the comparison between AC Milan star Rafael Leao and arguably the best player in the world at the moment in Kylian Mbappé.

The paper (via PianetaMilan) compare the stats of the two, starting with the goals scored. Leao netted a brace against Lecce that took him to 12 in the league, 13 for the season overall, while Mbappe is on 22 in Ligue 1 and 34 in the entire 2022-23 season.

If you then look at his career, well, the gap becomes enormous: for Leao 60 goals across club and national team while for Mbappé he is on 274. It must be said that their roles are not exactly the same, but Mbappe too started as a winger and gradually transformed into a mobile centre-forward.

In doing so the PSG star increased his goal tally and his incisiveness in the penalty area which is what Stefano Pioli has been thinking of doing with Leao for some time, so much so that we have already seen it happen.

When the team were struggling at the start of 2023 and he changed to a three-man defence, Pioli put the former Lille man in a more central role but in truth he appeared out of his comfort zone.

As soon as Milan returned to a 4-2-3-1 formation, Leao returned to doing what he does best: beating men on the dribble and attacking the box from wide areas.

What about Mbappé? While the gap in stats might be big, the Frenchman shouldn’t be considered a rival but an example to follow. If the Portuguese wants to become a real top player, he will have to improve his scoring numbers just as Kylian did.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. They’re not even in the same class of players. MBappe also have technical skills that are far far superior than Leao’s. MBappe is a generational talent too and was doing great things at an early age. You’re not going to bridge 150+ goals over night or even over a career tbh

    1. I agree but one important but lacking aspect is also that mbappe plays in team that is far superior to any team in their own league that they a have won pretty much all domestic trophies in the last ten years. They have such a great squad that even their bench is superior to most teams in ligue 1 and can generally win most matches by just turning on the auto pilot.
      Serie a is a more difficult league to score many goals in as well but i agree that mbappe is a greater talent nevertheless but his tally would most likely have been somewhat lower had he played there from a young age.

        1. he is deffently a phenomenon but he came from a ligue 1 wining side in monaco and has then played in one of the most dominant sides ever in france. Im sure mbappe woud be a success in italy though and hopefully at one point in his career we will see him in red and black but not sure he would have had the same numbers as he at least had very young in france.

        1. im not saying otherwise either as i do reckon mbappe a greater talent than leao but as this article is comparing the two im basically just saying that mbappes tally propably would be lesser had he played in italy at least in his “younger”r years.

  2. Mbappé plays in the Ligue 1, just to start… or does anyone here think of comparing the level of defenses in Serie A with Ligue 1? And there are several factors involved too, in general this type of comparison ends up making little sense.

    Mbpappé can be a better player, but he’s not ‘far superior’ than Leão.

    1. They play the same position.
      They are the same age.
      Clubs score 2.8 goals per game in league 1, while they score 2.5 goals per game in serie A.
      Italy used to be a defensive league, it’s not anymore. The defenses in serie A are trash. The last 2 great defenders chiellini and Koulibaly left last summer.
      BTW Leao also played in France and Portugal before playing in serie A.
      Mbappe also scores a lot in the UCL and for the France NT, those are not only League 1 numbers, or the defenses he played in those competitions are also weaker than serie A?
      Mbappe been a starter for the NT for the last 6 years, Leao still is not a starter for his NT.
      There are over 200 goals difference between the 2 but somehow Mbappe is not far superior to Leao.
      As Milan fans we support Leao but at the same time we shouldn’t act delusional and pretend that there are not levels between the 2 players

      1. Thank you. I fail to see how MBappe is not superior by miles. Sure he’s in Ligue 1 with a stacked squad but he’s pretty much THE guy in his team and not leaching off of others to score. This and the fact he shines for France and in the UCL and for some time now is clear. Leao is no where close. MBappe can control dribble at a fast pace, Leao can knock the ball and run. There’s a big difference

  3. Reality is Mbappe hit the ground running and has been a top performer since his debut. Well, second season.. That Monac title season was special.
    While Leao maybe had the misfortune of moving around a lot, lack of stability can hinder develepment so he needed a longer time to get to a wc lvl..

  4. Mbappe likely will win multiple ballons D’or in his career. Not saying he’ll necessarily reach Messi numbers but he’s likely to be dominant in the next 5-10 years and possibly reach an all-time great status.

    Leao – love the boy and he’s our star, but he’s not in that league. He’s certainly very talented and I hope he stays.

  5. Mbappe play on ligue 1 . Leao play on serie A with tough defensive tactic . It is not easy score many goals with opponent full defend. Mbappe have star player as his team mate even their bench player are superior while leao bench player team mate are trash player like origoat,Rebic,Dest,Lord tata. Overall i believe leao are just one level below mbappe or you can say close to mbappe

  6. I see most people use the “tough serie A defense” as an excuse for the enormous disparity in goals scored between Mbappe and Leao.
    274 vs 60.
    Oh Mbappe would have scored less in serie A. If Ciro immobile and old man CR7 can score 30+ goals a season so can Mbappe.
    2017, Mbappe starts, scores for a Monaco team that goes to the UCL semi final. That summer he moves to PSG for 180 mil.
    2018, Mbappe starts, scores and wins the World cup with France.
    No one knows who Leao is all that time even though they are basically the same age.
    Leao moves to Milan in summer of 2019 and doesn’t become a starter until the beginning of 2021 season..
    Do people really believe that if Mbappe signed for Milan in 2019 it would have taken him 2 + years to become a starter?
    Mbappe is the leader of the French NT, while Leao still can’t even get a start while his competition is a flop like Joao Felix.
    When you live only in the Milan bubble and you compare Leao with Saelemakers, Messias and Rebic you’d make yourself believe that he is great, but when you step out and compare him to an actual great player you realize that there are levels to this stuff.
    The only comparison between Mbappe and Leao is the position they play and their athleticism, in everything else Mbappe is lightning years ahead.
    Leao vs Ousmane Dembele is more appropriate comparison.
    Mbappe is not

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