You are currently viewing Rafael Leao at AC Milan: Will they win the title after 11 years?

Rafael Leao at AC Milan: Will they win the title after 11 years?

Rafael Leão is on the verge of leading AC Milan to their first Scudetto in 11 years. The Portuguese international has emerged as the figurehead of Stefano Pioli’s side, acting as the team’s main attacking weapon.

Therefore, at the MBP School of Coaches, we have tactically analysed ‘what’ the forward provides to Milan, not only individually through his technical quality, but also in a collective way.


Individual Analysis

In order to analyse the individual levels of the Portuguese forward, we are going to focus on which of Paco Seirul-lo’sstructures stand out the most in the player, and how they impact his different behaviours on the pitch.

The first structure we want to highlight is his conditional capacity. Leão is a modern player, capable of combining his imposing physique with an excellent technical and coordination skills.

Thanks to the blend of both qualities, Rafael Leão masters the application of the individual fundamentals of the winger: attacking the defender in 1v1 situations with a spatial advantage. Through his explosive speed, together with his large stride and excellent technical coordination, the player knows how to manage this type of situation effectively.



The second structure worth mentioning is the socio-affective one. Rafael Leão has shown a great capacity when it comes to connecting with his teammates, managing to build very successful synergies out on the pitch. The most noteworthy one has been with Theo Hernández. The relationship between the two players has been extremely productive for the Italian side, as a large part of the attacking flow comes from the left-side.

As can be seen in the images below, the two players have been able to play together seamlessly, not only on an associative level, but also in the way they exploit the spaces, always occupying different sub channels which generate tactical imbalances in opposition teams.


Collective Analysis

If we analyse the impact that Rafael Leão has had on the team, in addition to his outstanding output in goals and assists, the Portuguese star has brought tactical versatility to Milan against the many different scenarios that appear during the 90 minutes.

AC Milan have a very defined game model, which seeks to dominate the game through ball possession. For this, the role of Leão is crucial. Although the player starts from the left wing position, on many occasions he has a tendency to drop deeper and centralise his position, thereby helping his team to develop the play.


Furthermore, once the ball enters the final 3rd and close to goal, Leão is the differential element, as almost all the attacking actions pass through him, either to finish on goal, or to play in his teammates from through balls or crosses.


However, Milan have not always been able to implement their idea successfully. In situations where the opposition have dominated the ball, or where the game plan was to adopt a lower defensive block and prioritise counter attacks, Rafael Leão has once again been essential.

In this type of situation, the attacker was the player to look for after the team recovered the ball, as thanks to his previously described conditional skills, he was able to dismark free in behind opposition defensive lines.



Rafael Leão has been integral to AC Milan’s current season. The Portuguese forward has become the star of Stefano Pioli’s team, acting as the differential factor in the attacking phase, as well as bringing an innumerable variety of resources to the Rossoneri.

At the MBP School of Coaches, we will closely follow the evolution of the attacker, in anticipation to see if he finally develops into a world class star.

Leave a Reply