Our Biography of Rafael Leao shares facts about his Childhood Story, Early Life, Parents (Mr. and Mrs. Conceição Leão), Family, Girlfriend/wife-to-be, Lifestyle, Net Worth, and Personal Life.
In short, we present the history of Rafael Leao, a Portuguese footballer with Almada family roots. A footballer who plays in a unique way – with smile on his face.
The Life story of the AC Milan legend starts from his early days and takes us through his journey to fame with AC Milan.
To provide a glimpse of the captivating nature of Rafael Leao’s Bio, here’s a visual overview of his life.
Indeed, many fans know the forward as the “Portuguese Mbappe.” This is because he has drawn comparisons with French star Kylian Mbappe due to his incredible playing style.
Despite the recognition, we realize that only a few have read a comprehensive Life Story of Rafael Leao. SoccerBiography’s Portuguese diary has prepared it for the love of the game. Now, let’s get started.
Rafael Leao Childhood Story:
For Biography newcomers, he goes by the nickname Rafblinks. Rafael was born on June 10, 1999, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Conceição Leão in Almada, Portugal.
At birth, he was given a name that means Lion-Heart. The footballer is one of six children (four brothers and twin sisters) born from the union between his mother and father.
Early Life and Growing-Up Years:
The Almada native spent his childhood years with numerous siblings who remain the strongest connection to his past. Among his sisters are Paulo and Bianca Leao (twins).
Another of Rafael’s siblings is Nadia Leao, who is less than ten years old at the time of writing his Bio. The forward spent his childhood in the town of Almada, situated on the banks of the Tagus River, opposite Lisbon.
The AC Milan forward, along with his brothers, experienced a challenging childhood marked by numerous sacrifices.
Rafael stood out among his siblings, as his parents gave him a powerful name. Did you know that “Leão” means “lion”? The footballer was destined to live a life of power and dominance.
The Family Background of Rafael Leao:
Although the Portuguese forward’s parents were immigrants, they were not destitute, but neither were they wealthy. Leao had a modest upbringing, coming from a humble family background.
Even as a successful footballer, his parents continue to work like ordinary people in Lisbon. Rafael Leao’s mother is a hairdresser, while his father is a civil servant.
Delving into his modest background, the talented striker once gave soccer fans a glimpse of the old family building where he grew up in Portugal.
The AC Milan sharp shooter acknowledges his family’s financial struggles, and he is determined to use his football earnings to renovate this property.
Rafael Leao Family Origin:
While it is known that he is from Portugal, the soccer star has African ancestry. In other words, Rafael Leao’s parents come from different African countries.
His father, like Manuel Benson‘s parents, hails from Angola, while his mother is from Sao Tome and Principe. They both met as immigrants in Portugal and decided to start a family. On a general note, Leao, like Carlos Borges, is an Afro-Portuguese.
Rafael Leao Biography – Football Story:
As a child growing up in the town of Almada, Leao became passionate about soccer at a very young age.
In fact, the fields and riverbanks of his hometown hold cherished memories of his childhood football experiences. Reflecting on what he considers history, the AC Milan forward once stated:
“When I was younger, I would go on and play ball every day.
Sometimes I suffered hunger from did not get lunch or a snack from my parents.
I only came home at dinnertime with my dirty shorts. In fact, the new sneakers my Dad had bought were already worn out.”
Similar to Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Leao would cry whenever he lost games. Though his friends didn’t call him Cry Baby, he was an emotional child, deeply concerned about not losing matches.
Educational Background – How Rafael Leao Viewed Schooling:
Initially, the footballer’s parents encouraged him to prioritize academics. Rafael assured them that he could balance both school and sports.
Back then, his happiness came from winning football matches, not from reading books. Leao attended primary school but had to stop in order to pursue his dream. In an interview, he shared:
“I couldn’t stay focused on education because I was chasing a football dream. In the middle of my classes, I would escape leaving for football training. I didn’t have the typical school life most kids had.”
When his siblings went to school, Rafael stayed at home to prepare for training. On Sundays, he rested to be physically ready for the fast-paced week ahead.
The Beginning of Football:
Rafael started playing football at the base of his building with friends. Coincidentally, the president of the Amora football club lived nearby.
One day, when Rafael was around 7 or 8 years old, the club president spoke to him after watching him dribble past his friends through his window. The Amora boss invited him to join the club.
Overjoyed, Rafael accepted the offer.
“In my first game, I discovered that my street football skill was very different from academy football.”
The Amora Tournament and Losing Benfica:
Do you know?… Young Rafael Leao only spent three weeks with his childhood club, Amora FC. Within his first two weeks, he was selected for a major tournament.
After impressing spectators, Rafael was approached by Benfica, who sent him to Foot 21, a program that no longer exists.
Rafael Leao’s parents and Benfica agreed that he would join the club at the end of the season. Unfortunately, his parents could not afford the constant transportation costs for their son’s training.
This led Rafael to choose the renowned youth academy at Sporting CP, which offered a more suitable environment.
Leao’s Early Academy Life:
The young soccer prodigy, like Goncalo Inacio, thrived in the famous Sporting Lisbon youth setup. By the time Leao clocked 14, his football talent was undeniable. His youth coach and mentor at the time, Tiago Fernandes, told France Football:
“In my coaching experience, I have never seen a kid like Leao doing the things he does with the ball. He does the things no one else could do.”
Tiago Fernandes then dubbed Leao as “the best player in the history of Sporting Academy.”
Furthermore, he also told L’Equipe that Leao, a leader (including a youth captain), was considered better than Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age.
In fact, a strong claim persists that Leao holds the distinction of being the overall best player in the history of the Sporting CP Academy.
Rafael Leao Biography – Journey to Fame:
Undoubtedly, Leao lived up to the hype. The young talent advanced through Sporting CP’s youth ranks for eight years before making his debut at just 17 years old.
In that match, he came on during the second half and scored against Braga.
Additionally, he entered the club’s history books as the youngest player to score against Porto in a 1-2 away loss.
Remarkably, Leao scored by nutmegging the legendary Iker Casillas. Leao was also part of the team that won the Portuguese league cup title.
Although he would have preferred to stay with Verde e brancos, he had no choice but to leave due to an attack on the coach and players by dissatisfied fans.
Following his controversial departure, Leao (then 19) became a free agent and signed with Lille.
Rafael Leao Biography – Path to Stardom:
When Milan expressed interest, the Almada native eagerly accepted, given the Red and Black’s dedication to nurturing young talent.
It was at Milan that Leao became renowned for scoring the fastest-ever goal in Serie A history in just six seconds. This record stands as the quickest goal ever scored in Europe’s top five leagues.
At 6ft 2, the tall striker has demonstrated that he possesses essential qualities needed by modern-day forwards.
His agility has been likened to that of Sergio Aguero, while his strength makes him an ideal counterpart to Vitor Osimhen.
With a keen instinct and lethal finishing in front of goal, the future looks bright for the young Lion. The rest, as they say, is history.
Does Rafael Leao Have a Girlfriend or Wife-to-Be?
Are you here to learn about the forward’s romantic life? Are you eager to find out who Rafael Leao’s girlfriend is? So are we, and honestly, we’ve searched extensively, but there are no signs of a significant other.
Could he be dating secretly? If so, it is only a matter of time before his private life becomes public, as soccer tends to reveal secrets.
However, we believe someone as skilled as Leao on the field wouldn’t have trouble maintaining a discreet relationship.
As a result, SoccerBiography confidently suggests that Rafael likely has a girlfriend, perhaps someone approved by his parents as his future wife and the mother of his children.
At the time of writing, he prefers to keep the relationship private. The image below is the closest we could find to an alleged girlfriend.
To provide a more comprehensive understanding, let’s delve into the life of the striker with Angola and Sao-Tomé-Et-Principe family roots.
Firstly, Rafael Leao admits he, like Jamal Musiala, is a shy person and is fond of the sights and sounds of water bodies.
The forward often spends his leisure time alone, away from everything, in order to rejuvenate his inner strength.
At one point, while recharging his energy away from football, he reflected on his past and shared with his fans:
“In this life, you will never be able to please everyone, no matter how good a person you are. People will find countless reasons to criticize you, and that is when you must remain strong. In this world, not everyone wants to see you succeed. Indeed, not everything on Earth is perfect.”
Rafael Leao Lifestyle:
Let’s discuss how the prolific forward earns and spends his money. To begin with, his net worth is estimated to be around 3 million euros (2020 statistics).
However, you don’t need exact numbers to see that Leao leads a luxurious lifestyle, evident in his appearance and choice of vehicles.
Examples of such a lifestyle include the lavish house/apartment he occupies in Milan. This opulence is backed by Leao’s impressive salary of €39,473 per month and €1.4 million per year. Check out some of his collections of expensive cars.
Rafael Leao Family Life:
The forward considers his family to be his most significant treasure, providing support during difficult times.
In this section, we’ll share details about Rafael Leao’s parents, siblings, and relatives.
About Rafael Leao’s Father:
Did you know that he mimics a phone call when he scores? The striker does this for his father, who watches all his games and calls him afterward to discuss his performance. The phone call celebration is a way for Leao to tell his dad:
“Hey Dad, I just scored. Let’s talk about it later.”
The forward’s scoring streak is driven by a desire to make his father proud. Rafael Leao’s father is very important to him.
He describes his father as a person who can be friendly, cold, strict, and very direct. In Leao’s words:
“If he has something to tell me, he will say it straight out. My dad can be tough to hear, but in the end, he is always right.”
About Rafael Leao’s Mother:
In February 2019, the footballer surprised his mother with a hair salon. The unveiling took place at Avenida Paiva Couceiro, a bustling business area in Lisbon.
His mother inaugurated the salon by making her son her first customer, fulfilling her dream. Speaking to Newspaper Accord, the devoted son once said:
“Owning a hair salon is something my mom had dreamt of. Now, what I can do is help every member of my family and provide the best I can afford. This is also an investment.”
About Rafael Leao’s Brothers:
In an interview, the AC Milan star mentioned having three brothers. When he signed with the club, these three young men supported him, leading fans to believe they were his siblings. However, soonest, the names of Rafael Leao’s three brothers became public knowledge.
About Rafael Leao’s Sisters:
The footballer’s family includes twins Paulo and Bianca, who were around ten years old in 2019.
But that’s not all; Rafael also has another younger sister named Nadia, who is four years younger than Paulo and Bianca.
About Rafael Leao’s Relatives:
Like our valued readers, we are eager to learn about his maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as the identities of Rafael’s uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces. We will update you when we have more information.
Lesser-Known Facts About Rafael Leao:
To conclude this article on the forward’s biography, here are some lesser-known facts and trivia about him.
Why his neighbours called the police on him:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rafael Leao returned to his family in Portugal after the Italian League was suspended.
In an attempt to maintain his fitness level and not lose form, he played loud music, which annoyed his neighbours.
They filed a noise nuisance complaint at the police station. According to residents of Avenida Central do Pinhal Conde da Cunha in Amora:
“Every day, Rafael Leao invites a friend to his house whom many know as a music DJ, to his house. Together, they both accepted the idea of playing loud music.”
After the complaint, Portuguese authorities tried to contact the athlete, but they received no response.
His views on Zlatan:
The fact that he scored the fastest goal in Serie A’s long history suggests that he possesses the speed of a cheetah and the strength of a lion. In November 2020, Leao’s Instagram post revealed who he thinks is the King of Milan and where he sees himself in the hierarchy.
Leao must feel incredibly honoured to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic in real life. The striker views him as an older brother.
Relationship with Kylian:
AC Milan’s forward is often called the “Portuguese Mbappe” for a reason. A close examination reveals similarities in their style of play, age, and speed.
Furthermore, Kylian Mbappe serves as an inspiration to Leao, who aspires to win Big – medals and titles – like the French soccer Legend.
FIFA 2020 Ratings:
Rafael Leao, in that year, had an overall rating of 74 points with a potential of 83. In our opinion, that’s wasn’t too impressive. He deserves better, and it is not confirmed that the EA team had addressed this issue.
Rafael Leao’s Religion:
Given his name, it is highly likely that the striker is a Christian. Leao probably practices Christianity. It’s worth noting that his name, Rafael, is a variant of the name Raphael.
We appreciate you taking the time to read this insightful article about Rafael Leao. His childhood story and biography demonstrate that true strength is not derived from physical abilities but from an unyielding determination.
We must acknowledge and praise the footballer’s parents for their unwavering support throughout his career, both in actions and words. As Football.London says a big move for Leao continues to be touted ahead of the 2023/2024 summer transfer window. He joins the likes of Malick Thiaw and Mike Maignan, who have a big future ahead of them.
Here at SoccerBiography, we are committed to providing accurate and fair accounts of childhood stories and biographical facts. Stay tuned for more Football Stories of players born in Europe.
Surely, the Life of Ismael Bennacer and Erling Haaland will excite your reading appetite. Let’s not forget fellow Rising Portuguese star Pedro Neto and these young talents Kendry Paez and Luca Koleosho.
If you come across any information that seems incorrect, please feel free to contact us. Otherwise, we invite you to share your thoughts on Leao in the comments section below.