Leao calls ex-Real Madrid striker a ‘clown’ after AC Milan star is told Foden, Rashford are better

Lewis Oldham
Leao on Real Madrid
Rafael Leao reacts to being criticised by Antonio Cassano.

AC Milan star Rafael Leao has hit out at ex-Real Madrid striker Antonio Cassano after the pundit claimed Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford are better than him.

Leao has emerged as one of the best young wingers in Europe and he’s been in superb form this season. He has 12 goals and 12 assists in his 38 appearances across all competitions.

“The problem is that he thinks he is a phenomenon…”

The Portugal international’s form for Serie A giants AC Milan is fuelling reports linking him with Paris Saint-Germain as he is reportedly being eyed as a potential replacement for Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe.

Despite this, Leao has been criticised by Cassano, who has argued that the AC Milan standout is not as good as Foden, Rashford or Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

“Leao thinks he is a genius and some even agree with him,” Cassano told Domenica Sportiva.

“I just consider him a good player and I have not changed my mind on that. For five-and-a-half months he didn’t score in a poor league like Serie A. Years ago, he would’ve struggled to play in the sixth or seventh team in Serie A.”

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“We’re talking about a normal player…”

He added: “If I go and see Rashford as a winger last year he scores more than 25 goals and plays in a wonderful championship.

“[Khvicha] Kvaratskhelia arrives and has a wonderful championship. Foden is a year younger and this year he has already scored 21 goals and 10 assists, they are top players.

“In Italy, the championship is not good and the problem is that he thinks he is a phenomenon and there is a lot of people who believe in it.

“He’s a good player and has great physical strength, stop. So Kaka, Rui Costa, Vinicius? What are we talking about? We’re talking about a normal player who has physical strength.”

Taking to social media to respond, Leao made it clear how he feels about Cassano.

Pep Guardiola has decided against playing Ballon d’Or contender Foden and Kevin De Bruyne together in recent games but the Belgium international thinks they can combine in the same XI.

“Phil has been amazing this season so he deserves it, it keeps me on my toes to give me that little push,” De Bruyne said in an interview for Man City’s website.

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“It’s possible (to play together in midfield with Foden). When I started with David Silva, nobody thought it would be possible but we managed it in a way.

“David was the older player and I was younger and the runner, now it’s going to be a bit vice versa. I don’t see why not. I don’t think we’ve done it that much. If I can do it with Julian (Alvarez), who is more of a striker, then I can also do it with Phil.”