Rafa has everything to be a great champion, but he’s not yet. And such an important investment can become onerous for the Devil
Leao is a great champion in fits and starts. In certain periods, or in certain matches, he has phenomenal strokes, he is sufficiently continuous, he affects and decides; in other circumstances, for a long time, he becomes a normal footballer and sometimes even less, when indolence takes over. He has the technical and physical qualities of a great champion, but to really be one you need characteristics that he doesn’t possess at the moment: knowing how to suffer, putting yourself at the service of the team, fighting and making yourself useful even when you’re not having the best day. In short, a great unfinished champion.
Leao was instrumental in Milan’s Scudetto, not surprisingly he was elected best player of the 2021-22 championship. But this season, instead of confirming and consecrating himself, he’s gone a little lost. Instead, he kept his ideas very clear when it came to defining the new contract, making decidedly high requests: 7.5 million net per season, 2 million upon signing, assorted prizes and bonuses, a substantial contribution to the payment of the debt towards Sporting (the penalty is due to the player’s unilateral termination of his relationship with the Portuguese club). In short, Rafa wants a Premier-style deal, at figures that Milan have never even come close to during Elliott’s years of management. Indeed, in order not to satisfy demands deemed expensive, or in any case excessive, the AC Milan club has given up on young and important players: Donnarumma, Calhanoglu, Kessie. This time, however, there seems to be an intention to try to meet Leao, despite the fact that the financial strategy between the old owners and RedBird is the same, marked by caution. And despite having managed to do without those three important players who left at no cost.
If Milan accept Leao’s requests, they will give him enormous credit by recognizing him a salary – and related – as a great champion. It will be the AC Milan club that will meet the Portuguese more than he does with the club that has allowed him to mature and explode, waiting for him even after the first two disappointing seasons. No one asks Leao to be grateful to Milan: gratitude does not exist in football and certainly those who rely on a plethora of prosecutors and lawyers all committed to maximizing their respective profits cannot have it. If anything, it is the club that has to carefully evaluate the step it is about to take. Because Leao has everything to be a great champion, but he still isn’t. And for an Italian company such an agreement can become extremely burdensome if the yield and results are not adequate for the investment.
March 12, 2023 (change March 12, 2023 | 08:29)
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