Dribbling Leau is Milan’s main argument in the title race

Dribbling Leau is Milan’s main argument in the title race

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22 May 2022
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Departure to Verona two weeks before the end of the season – one of those in which they usually lose the championship. Almost the same thing happened with Milan. The biting hosts crushed the leader in personal duels, dried their shins in the joints and took the lead at the end of the first half. Milan found themselves in a difficult situation – it seems for the hundredth time in the second round.   A few minutes later, L’eau took the ball from the left, threw it behind the back of the defender and immediately teleported himself, and then used Tonali as a wall – and equalized the score. In the next attack, Rafael flew 60 meters, took a long step away from the opponent and brought Tonali to an empty corner. Milan won. The transformation of the Portuguese is the decisive moment of the season. L’eau finally got close to the phenom label he moved to Milan with.

Mentally, Leau is the heir to Ronaldinho, stylistically, Henri. He is the most dangerous dribbler in Italy

A few years ago, L’eau was called the next superstar. Children’s coach Thiago Fernandes put him at the level of Cristiano. But in Italy, L’eau did not work. Rafa did not pull the role of center forward in the tricky Italian game. Difficult tactical troubles and work with your back to the gate poisoned the frivolous football of a beginner. He looked more like a cosplay of Mbaye Niang than the best pupil in the history of Sporting. The fact that today L’eau looks like an alien from another dimension is the direct merit of Pioli and Zlatan. Its explosion has three components:


  1. transfer to the left flank relieved of unnecessary tactical duties;


  1. Sticks from Ibra taught me the right attitude to training: “Zlatan is like an older brother – he is always there. He knows that I can turn the match with my feet, but he explains how important the head is: you need to stay focused ”;


  1. The indelible smile stopped bothering Pioli.


The last one is the most important. The uniqueness of Leau manifests itself at the first visual acquaintance. Ronaldinho smiled when the game stopped. L’eau laughs along the way. Every time he gets the ball. His football is so tied to improvisation that he himself does not know what he will do in a second. And enjoy it. The anticipation of non-standard makes him happy – and inspires amazing impromptu. The easier Rafa is to the point, the better he plays. Pioli understood this – and gave him freedom: “At first, his laughter bothered me. Then I realized that this is just a manifestation of his style. It’s fine. It’s great to be yourself. Having fun in the game is very important. We strive for maximum seriousness, determination and professionalism, but football is a passion and a buzz. When you work with young guys, you need them to have fun on the field.” So L’eau realized at least part of the phenomenal talent. He is now a top 10 dribbler in the top leagues with 3.3 dribbles per 90 minutes. Of the players who have spent more than 1500 minutes, only three are higher – Saint-Maximin, Boufal and Alphonso Davis. Even more impressive is the efficiency of his strokes. For all his striking ease, Leau is not just a trickster. Plays always have a purpose. He is one of the top three players in Europe in terms of dribbles leading to goals.

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