Leao warns Juventus and Inter of Milan’s growth

by | Jan 22, 2022 10:34

Rafael Leao feels that Milan are stronger and ready to win the Scudetto this season, ahead of their double header against Juventus and Inter.

The 22-year-old Portuguese forward has been one of the stars of the Rossoneri’s season, scoring six goals and providing four assists in 18 Serie A appearances so far this campaign. He has started 2022 well, with two goals and two assists in the opening three matches of the calendar year.

Speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Leao first discussed his personal growth and how he’s settled properly in Milan.

“We tame the highest waves, we always try to take them in the right way to stay up and get to the finish line. I’m always ready to give everything for the team, I can make a difference because I’ve grown. Before I wasn’t consistent.

“I might play a quarter of an hour at the top of my game, then I’d stop or do things halfway, I’d skip past a man and miss the key pass. Today I’ve become concrete, I’m consistent for 90 minutes, I score more and make more assists.

“I play in a great team, of course, but I’ve changed the way I approach matches. I’m more decisive. I know the Serie A better, I got the right advice from my parents and my personal trainer. And I’ve never lacked the trust of the club, which has always made me feel protected, my teammates and the coach.”

He commented on the importance of Swedish veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the team.

“Ibrahimovic is a champion who has never forgotten his past. He always reminds me to stay humble and to work, work, work, that’s the only way you can do great things. That’s the Leao the scouts talked about when I was a kid.

“I can still improve, but I can already affect the results with my qualities, I’m at a good point of the path. I can and must score more. I work every day to become a great player.”

The 22-year-old Portuguese forward believes that Milan are ready to win the Scudetto this season.

“Yes, we are stronger and more mature than last year. Winning the Scudetto is the goal, we want to see Milan all red and black.

“I’m young, but on the pitch I feel like an adult, and the same goes for many of my teammates. Pioli says the same thing to me, Tonali and Saelemaekers, you’re only young on your ID.”

He feels that winning the Scudetto may be worth a tattoo in celebration.

“Maybe so, we’ll see…”

Leao warned Inter and Juventus of the Rossoneri’s growth and his own personal development.

“The next two games against Juve and Inter are very important, but not decisive, it’s a long season. Juve will be difficult, they’re a great team and they’re back on the score sheet. We need to take advantage of playing at home, our fans will motivate us even if there are only five thousand of them.

“We need to start winning again, we’re ready, we know we’re worth it. I’m trying to understand how I can hurt whoever I’m up against based on their characteristics. But I’ll also let my instincts guide me, I dribble, I’ve done it since I was a kid, it comes naturally to me.”

The 22-year-old highlighted how great it felt to play alongside Theo Hernandez.

“Theo Hernandez is as fast as me. Playing with him is spectacular, he’s one of the best full-backs in the world. I hope to have him around for a long time at AC Milan.”

He was positive talking about his future with Milan.

“I have another two years on my contract, which isn’t a little. We’ll see, it’s still early days, but I’m certainly very happy here.”

Finally, Leao discussed whether it was either to qualify for the World Cup with Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, or to win the Scudetto with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“With them in the team everything is possible. I’m trying to stay focused and prove I’m up to the task of playing alongside two such giants.”

Milan

11 Comments

  1. Tom

    People are to fear a team with Saelemaekers in it?

  2. Milanwizz

    Saelemaekers can impress on his day. Maybe that day will be on Sunday. But Milan needs reinforcement in that area right wing/attacking midfielder, they should try to grab Dybala for free

  3. Alle

    Milan´s growth!? hahahahahaha

  4. vogel

    If you look back through the records, every time a story like this comes out, the team that does all the talking almost always gets beaten on the day.

    So i’m betting on 2x defeats for milan.

  5. Debu

    This crucial game will expose Pioli as a loser coach. Juve will win the game with experienced winner coach and that will end Milan‘s hope for scudetto.. Again.

  6. Viktor

    @ Alle

    Let me inform you we are second in the league 2 shy from top. So hush and show the respect Milan deserve

  7. FERBAN

    These soft modern players do talk some rubbish.

    “We tame the highest waves”. What is this, a love duet from the 80s?
    As for him giving everything for the team, I saw him standing still instead of pressurising a Spezia defender that was right beside him the other day.
    Like most wide players, he’s flashy and effective for a few games, then hopeless for a month.
    It won’t say a whole lot for the quality of Serie A if this Milan squad wins the league.

  8. BOSS

    @Viktor

    Yes, 2nd in a pretty poor league. Calm down.
    And how can he show respect if u want him to hush?

  9. azzkikr

    Milan is always scary in head to head match, but not so much in scudetto race.. we have to improve in many areas before reach that level.. especially on the bench

  10. Alle

    @Viktor

    Milan was 1st like a month ago so I do not see any growt but decline. So better you hush yourself cose there is no growt when you loose ag Spezia at home and crying about referee when you should have score 3-0 before a halftime. That is not growt that is a decline! Got a feeling that a “growt´´ will continue ag juventus and surely ag Inter.

  11. Milan warrior

    Consistency is something we are still growing into. Definitely not taming the higest waves but he’s a kid, team is full of young lads, not bad considering our names vs the other big teams in the league. I don’t think we can actually win the league, but i do see us staying strong for the next few seasons. Scudetto soon.

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