Leao happy to be an example to younger players but admits: “I have to grow”

AC Milan winger Rafael Leao has revealed that he is happy to be an example for younger players but acknowledges that he still has room to grow.

Leao had a big hand in AC Milan’s first league title win since 2010-11 as he ended up hitting double figures in goals and assists in the league, and top European clubs are circling, forcing the management into urgent action regarding his renewal.

He joined from Lille in the summer of 2019 and after being initially quite inconsistent, he found a higher gear last season and put together a very impressive campaign, showcasing all of his raw talent and ability on a far more regular basis and showing himself to be a crucial part of the future.

Leao was interviewed by Login – Corriere della Sera’s monthly magazine on innovation and technology – and he was asked about how it feels being an example for younger players and people among other topics, with PianetaMilan relaying his comments.

On the use of social media: “We don’t feel this difference, my daily life is a natural mix between real and digital, it’s you non-digital natives who always ask yourself the problem. My mom calls me every day, for example. Even if she often just wants to know if I ate well.”

On his market value: “For heaven’s sake, that’s one thing I don’t think about. My real value is another thing. God gave me talent and I have to be grateful and keep working hard not to waste it.”

On his social media engagement: “I admit it’s nice. It is indeed an honor to be an example for younger people who maybe follow me for my way of being or because they like the content I post. But I’m a footballer, a forward and therefore the numbers that make me happiest are those of the field.”

On the relationship he has with family: “For me, family is the most important thing. What I do on the pitch I want to pass on to them, I want to do well for them. The relationship with my mother is special, I have already told you: she calls every day to know how I am. My dad is a different person, he wants me to do the right things. I am very attached, and with the first salary I immediately bought the house for them.”

On music: “It’s a bit of a connection between my origins and the path I’m walking on. The Barrio de Jamaica, where I was born, is everything to me: that’s where I started playing, where I have my family, my friends, the most important people. It’s my heart.”

On the Scudetto season: “Football without fans is another thing, there is nothing else to add. This year at San Siro more than a million people came to support us, regardless of how many away games it was like playing at home: in Reggio Emilia, in the decisive match, it seemed to be in Milano. And then the tide of people who welcomed us on our return to the city and the next day in the parade with the open bus. The sensations you feel in real life they are something else!”