Leão: “I am so happy, extending my contract is what I wanted, I can reach the top and win trophies here”

Rafael Leão talking to MilanTV at Piazza del Duomo. (@acmilan.com)

Rafael Leão has spoken to MilanTV after renewing his contract with the Red and Black club until 2028.

Yesterday it became official that Leão, Milan’s best player in the last couple of seasons, has put pen to paper and extended his contract with the Rossoneri until 2028, getting a significant (and deserved) increase in his pay as well.

“I am so happy; extending my contract is what I wanted,” the 23-year-old told MilanTV. “I told the Club and my teammates that my goal was to stay here. Eventually we managed to reach an agreement for me to continue here.”

You arrived at Milan 4 years ago…
Milano is my home; the day I arrived, everyone welcomed me with open arms. Everyone supported me during the difficult times. Here I can improve on a daily basis; I feel at home. Thanks to the faith in me, I can reach the top and win trophies here.”

Rafael Leão after signing his contract renewal until 2028. (@acmilan.com)

How are you doing?
“Everybody at Milan is like a family to me, they are helping me big time in doing what I’m doing on the pitch. This enables me to be an important player for the team. That’s what I had been looking for before I joined Milan.”

And now…
“My numbers were pretty low in my first two seasons here. I may have left one or two players trailing but I didn’t score when I got sight of goal… But these days I am a different player, more responsible and aware of when I need to pass and when to shoot. I’ve become a lot more efficient as well, thanks to the way I’m training and my coach’s help. At a certain point it dawned on Pioli how to raise my level and what I needed to do to make the difference. Off the pitch he gives me tips every single day.”

What are your objectives?
“My goal is to win as many competitions as possible here. I want to relive those emotions of when we won the Scudetto, that’s when I realized the size of this Club. It’s enormous.”

How are you feeling in Italy?
“Milano is similar to Portugal in that the food is nice, the weather and for shopping it’s also great. For young people this city is amazing. My first season here wasn’t great, it took me some time to settle. But living here has always been fun, Italian is similar to Portuguese. Some words are easily understandable, this is a city I see myself living in for many years.”

Rafael Leão at Stadio San Siro after signing his contract renewal until 2028. (@acmilan.com)

And now the renewal…
“I want to thank the Club for their hard work to ensure the best players stay here. Last year we showed everybody that this blend of younger and older players can make a strong team. I am delighted that I can continue playing with them.”

Who do you get on with from your teammates?
“All of them, clearly… even if Ibra is like an older brother. He has a wealth of experience having played in so many games which is important for us younger players. He’s taught me never to give up and even upon our return to the dressing room at half-time, he’s urging me to keep scoring even if I have already netted one. Before an important game he tells me to show everybody who I am and what I am capable of doing. He’s been incredibly important for my development as a footballer.”

Rafael Leão after signing his contract renewal until 2028. (@acmilan.com)

Do you have a message to the fans?
“I remember when we had that bus parade here. Seeing the Piazza del Duomo covered in red and black was the highlight of my footballing career. I had never experienced anything like it. I’d like to thank everyone; I was young when I joined Milan [in 2019] but I was already aware of the stature of this club. But only after wearing the shirt at San Siro in front of our fans, you notice that it isn’t easy. In the four years I’ve been here, I’ve got used to the fans. This shirt weighs a lot. I am proud and can’t wait to continue writing my story here. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience in supporting me and the team. I feel at home here; when I go to restaurants, people greet me with a smile and this leaves me speechless. Thank you to everybody! I want to keep on scoring and creating lots of goals to showcase my talent.

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So much LEAO

Gbenga AJOSE

Leaooooooooo….You are the man !! Once again, we say thank you for your consideration and loyalty to our dear club. Any where we fans meet you, you will always be honoured.