Rafael Leao is a man of many talents. On the pitch, he has led AC Milan to the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in 16 years. Off it, he entertains fans by expressing himself through music. The San Siro’s very own Rockstar – in every literal and figurative way.
The Portuguese talent – who ended Milan’s long wait for a Serie A title last season and is now in the hunt to pursue the club’s eighth Champions League trophy – is also working on achieving the dream of establishing a music career of his own.
Leao, alias Way 45, is a lifelong fan of rap music. His debut album Beginning arrived in 2021 in his native Portuguese. Rolling Stone said that it showed that the relationship between football stars and rap music is a long long way from the days of John Barnes now.
Now, Leao is preparing to release his second album My Life In Each Verse later this year. Some of the songs in the album discuss his upbringing so that fans get to know who he is. The 23-year-old talks about the struggles of “a kid in a hoodie from a small town with a dream”.
When asked about the reaction of his teammates concerning the album, the Portugal international shared a hilarious conversation with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He said teammates supported his passion off the pitch, but some in the dressing room also laughed at it. “Zlatan Ibrahimovic laughed at it. He laughed at it and told me to focus on football instead! But the rest have told me to keep going and doing my thing,” Leao added.
Honestly, what did anyone really expect? Ibrahimovic is not the one to mince his words, and considering the Swede legend’s work ethic that has helped him to play for Milan at the age of 41, there was always going to be one reaction: Focus on football.
Secondly, knowing how much the former Barcelona and Manchester United man likes to banter with his teammates, it’s best for readers to take Ibrahimovic’s comments in that context. When he was in Manchester, the iconic strike revealed that he told Eric Cantona he’d be the “god of Manchester” after being warned by the club legend that he’d never replace him as “king”.
In all honesty, it’d be an absolute blockbuster to listen to Ibrahimovic’s thoughts on Dide – a masked rapper who also claims to be a Premier League footballer.
As far as Leao’s priority is concerned, there was only ever going to be one answer. He has his eyes set on the ball. Way45 was asked to pick between football and rap. He replied: “Football, of course! It’s given me a lot and I love it, it just has to be.”
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