Rafael Leão

Rafael Leao

Rafael Leão
Quick Facts About Rafael Leão
Celebrated Name Rafael Leão
Age 25 years old
Nick Name Rafael
Birth Name Rafael Alexandre da Conceição Leão
Birth Date 1999-06-10
Gender Male
Profession Footballer
Birth Nation Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Ethnicity Mixed
Place of Birth Almada
Religion Christian
Father Antonio Leão
Net Worth $5 million
Salary €5 to €7 million
Source of Wealth Football Career
Girlfriend Debora Reis (Ex)
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Unmarried
Height 1.88 m
Weight 81 KG
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Black
Body Build/Type Athletic
Current Team AC Milan
Position Left Winger
Shirt Number 10

Rafael Leão is a Portuguese professional footballer. He is famous for currently playing in the position of left-winger for Serie A club AC Milan and the Portugal national team. He is acclaimed as one of the premier forwards and wingers globally. Emerging from the Sporting CP youth system, he made his first-team debut in 2018, securing the 2017–18 Taça da Liga before parting ways with Sporting CP. He then joined Ligue 1 side Lille and in 2019, AC Milan signed him for a reported fee of €35 million. Having represented Portugal at various youth levels, he made his senior international debut in 2021. Recently, he claims he could reach Cristiano Ronaldo's level one day but admits he lacks the "selfish" tendencies.

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Who is Rafael Leao?

Rafael Leão, the renowned Portuguese professional footballer, currently excels as a left-winger for Serie A powerhouse AC Milan and proudly represents the Portugal national team. He started his football career in the Sporting CP youth system before joining Ligue 1's Lille and AC Milan.

Rafael Leão, born on June 10, 1999, hails from Almada, Portugal. He holds Portuguese nationality and belongs to a mixed ethnicity. His full birth name is Rafael Alexandre da Conceição Leão. Raised in a family with Angolan heritage, he is the son of Antonio Leão, while his mother's name remains undisclosed.

Growing up, Rafael shared his childhood with six siblings, consisting of four brothers and twin sisters. As he marked his 24th birthday in 2023, Rafael Leão's journey from Almada to becoming a prominent football figure is rooted in his diverse background and supportive family upbringing. 

Rafael Leao Football Career

  • Rafael Leão's football journey began at the age of 9 when he joined Sporting CP's youth system after a short stint in Amora and Foot 21.
  • Despite still being a junior, he made a significant impact with Sporting's reserves in May 2017, scoring in his senior debut against Braga B. 
  • His introduction to the Primeira Liga with Sporting's first team under manager Jorge Jesus followed in February 2018. 
  • Leão's notable moment came in March of the same year when, as the youngest-ever scorer against Porto, he equalized for Sporting in a 2-1 away loss. 
  • However, following the traumatic attack on Sporting's players and staff in May 2018, Leão terminated his contract with the club in June.
  • Subsequently, he joined Lille in August 2018 on a free transfer, despite disputes with Sporting over the terms of the deal. 
  • Leão overcame initial challenges, making a significant impact with Lille in the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season, contributing eight goals in 26 competitive games as they finished as runners-up in the league under coach Christophe Galtier.
  • On August 1, 2019, he embarked on a new chapter in his football journey, signing a five-year contract with AC Milan for a fee of €35 million, coupled with a 20% sell-on clause. 
  • Making his Serie A debut on August 25, he scored his inaugural goal for the club in a home match against Fiorentina on September 29. 
  • Despite facing financial consequences for his contract termination with Sporting CP, Leão's impact at Milan was swift. 
  • Notably, on July 7, 2020, he played a crucial role in Milan's 4-2 victory over league leaders Juventus. 
  • The subsequent season showcased Leão's prowess, with notable achievements such as scoring the fastest goal in Serie A history (six seconds) and becoming the second youngest foreign player to score over ten goals for Milan in Serie A.
  • The 2021-22 season marked Leão's breakthrough, contributing significantly to Milan's Serie A triumph with 11 goals and 10 assists, earning him the Serie A MVP award.
  • He kicked off the 2022–23 season in spectacular fashion, contributing a goal and an assist in AC Milan's 2–0 home victory against Bologna on August 27. 
  • Celebrating his 100th appearance in Serie A on September 3, he delivered a standout performance by scoring a brace and providing an assist in a thrilling 3–2 triumph over Inter in the Derby della Madonnina, securing the Serie A Goal of the Month award for September.
  • However, on September 10, he experienced a first in his club career, being sent off for violent conduct during a 2–1 win over Sampdoria. 
  • The month of October brought further accolades, with Leão being nominated for the 2022 Ballon d'Or and later named Serie A Player of the Month. 
  • In the following months, he continued to showcase his prowess, scoring a brace in a remarkable 4–0 away victory over league leaders Napoli on April 2, and providing a crucial assist in a 1–1 away draw against Napoli in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg. 
  • Despite being injured and witnessing Inter's victory in the Champions League semi-final, he demonstrated commitment by extending his contract with AC Milan until 2028, solidifying his status as a key player for the team in the upcoming seasons. 
  • Prior to the 2023–24 season, Leão was given the squad number 10 following the departure of Brahim Díaz, who returned from his loan spell from Real Madrid, the club's previous number 10. 

Portuguese professional footballer. Rafael Leão

International Career

  • Rafael Leão's international journey began with the Portugal under-17s, notably contributing to their triumph in the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, where he played a key role in the finals against Spain. 
  • Progressing to the under-19s, he participated in the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, finishing as a runner-up. 
  • Leão's involvement continued in the senior youth setup, earning his first cap for the under-21 side at the age of 18 in 2017. 
  • He showcased his scoring prowess in subsequent matches, contributing to Portugal's campaigns in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup. 
  • He made his debut for the senior national team on October 9, 2021, providing an assist in a friendly win against Qatar.
  • His ascent continued as he secured a spot in Portugal's squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring crucial goals in the group stage and the round of 16. 

Awards and Achievements

AC Milan

  • Serie A: 2021–22 

Portugal U17

  • UEFA European Under-17 Championship: 2016 

Portugal U19

  • UEFA European Under-19 Championship runner-up: 2017 

Portugal U21

  • UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up: 2021 


  • Serie A Most Valuable Player: 2021–22 
  • Serie A Player of the Month: October 2022, April 2023, September 2023 
  • Serie A Goal of the Month: September 2022 
  • Serie A Team of the Year: 2021–22, 2022–23 
  • Serie A Footballer of the Year: 2022 


  • Fastest goal ever scored in the Italian Serie A: 6.2 seconds after the start of Sassuolo–AC Milan, in the 2020–21 season. 

Rafael Leao's Salary & Net Worth

Rafael Leão, a successful footballer, has a substantial net worth estimated to be over $5 million as of 2024, a testament to his success on the field. His financial standing was further solidified by the extension of his contract with AC Milan until 2028, with reports indicating a lucrative deal.

The specifics of his contract include an annual salary ranging from €5 to €7 million, a €1.5 million signing bonus, and an impressive €175 million release clause, activatable exclusively during the summer transfer windows. As the main source of his wealth stems from his football career, Rafael Leão enjoys a lavish lifestyle. 

Who is Rafael Leao's Girlfriend?

Rafael Leão is single following his split from his girlfriend, Debora Reis. The rumors of their break-up emerged in July 2022 when the couple unfollowed each other on social media, adding fuel to speculation. Currently single, Rafael has shifted his focus entirely to his football career, prioritizing his professional endeavors over romantic relationships. Rafael Leao is not dating anyone.

Rafael Leão and his ex-girlfriend, Deborah

How tall is Rafael Leao?

Rafael Leão stands tall at the perfect height of 1.88 m or 6 feet and 2 inches. He has a body weight of 81 kg with an athletic body build. He has a pair of dark brown eyes and his hair color is black. His hairstyle is side-cropped and his hair is dreadlocked. Sporting ear studs and often flaunting a thin mustache, he exudes a unique style. Notably, both of his hands are inked with tattoos. 

5 Facts about Rafael Leao

Here are some key facts about  Portuguese footballer Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao started his youth career in 2006

Rafael embarked on his youth football journey in 2006 at the age of 7 when he joined the local club Amora F.C. The subsequent year marked another step in his development as he transitioned to the youth team of another club named Foot 21. These early experiences laid the foundation for Leão's growth as a footballer, setting the stage for the remarkable career that would follow in the years to come.

Leao is of Angolan descent

Rafael has Angolan roots, tracing his descent to Angola, a connection that adds cultural richness and diversity to his identity. This aspect of his heritage contributes to the multifaceted nature of his background, reflecting the global influence and interconnectedness present in his personal and professional journey.

He is also a rapper

In addition to his prowess on the football field, Rafael Leão showcases his versatility as an artist, doubling as a rapper who releases music under the alias WAY 45. Beyond the pitch, he demonstrates his creative expression and passion for music, allowing fans a glimpse into his multifaceted talents.

He is one of the best dribblers

Leão distinguishes himself as one of the premier dribblers in European football, showcasing exceptional skill and agility on the field. Renowned for his immaculate playmaking and deft finishing, he has solidified his reputation as one of Serie A's best dribblers during his tenure with AC Milan, completing an impressive 186 dribbles in the 2021/22 season.

His prowess extends beyond the Italian league, as he ranks as the third-best dribbler among European players, narrowly trailing behind Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior with 210 dribbles and Newcastle's Allan Saint-Maximin with 205. 

Rafael Leao hopes to remain the captain like his idol Cristiano Ronaldo!

Cristiano Ronaldo inspires young players like Rafael Leao, who sees Ronaldo as his idol. Now, Leao aims for big achievements with AC Milan, fueled by his admiration for Ronaldo.