Quirky nicknames have always gone hand in hand with football. From “Slabhead” to “Peter Pan”, the beautiful game has seen some of the weirdest and funniest monikers directed at footballers by the fans.
Joining, and arguably topping the list is “Rafael LMAO”, the brand-new slander name for AC Milan’s consummate and ever-smiling forward, Rafael Leao.
The Twitterati came up with the slander name in the recent weeks following Milan’s paramount success in the UCL which saw the Rossoneri move a step closer to the coveted European championship as they reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
Not much was expected of the Stefano Pioli-led AC Milan amidst the 22/23 season when the reigning Italian champions were deemed virtually out of the title race. An early Coppa Italia exit and difficult UCL results against a struggling Chelsea had fans predicting a bang-average season for the Rossoneri.
It was thus an astonishment to the footballing world when the Milan outfit knocked Napoli, the most favoured team from Milan’s bracket, out of the tournament to set a date with arch-rivals Inter in the semifinals of the UCL.
Inarguably, the 23-year-old forward Rafael Leao has been the central figure of Stefano Pioli’s attacking unit, leading the charge from the left side of the pitch. With 26 goal involvements in 42 games this season, the Portuguese has been the front-runner to be crowned Milan’s MVP of the season.
Following a stunning performance against Napoli in the semifinals, football enthusiasts on Twitter came up with a very creative nickname for the Portuguese ace. “Rafael LMAO”, the slander name, took over the footballing media in no time, with the majority lauding the creativity behind the nickname.
Abbreviation for “Laughing My Ass Off”, LMAO perfectly resembles the surname of the Milan ace, making up for one of the most outrageously creative slander names out there on social media.
Probably a nod to Leao’s habit of grinning ear-to-ear as the Portuguese runs down the left flank in electric fashion, fans cannot seem to get enough of both Leao’s infectious grin and nickname.
Reacting to the slander name, a Twitter user wrote, “‘Rafael Lmao’ as a slander name is an all-timer, one of the greatest ever this app has come up with. Easily top 3.” “Rafael Lmao has to be the most outrageous slander name I’ve ever seen”, commented another user.
Fans even compared the nickname to some of the most outrageous and whacky slander names that have come to light courtesy of Twitter, “Ter Static” (for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen) and “Kaoru Diploma” (for Kaoru Mitoma) to name a few.
Currently, fifth in the Serie A table, Rafa Leao’s AC Milan shares the same points as their city rivals Inter and the sixth-placed AS Roma. With only six games remaining, the battle for a UCL birth easily remains among the most heated ones in Italy. Having drawn three of their last five outings, fans of the Rossoneri would be keen on Pioli’s men securing a top-four finish ahead of Milan’s highly awaited Champions League semifinal matchup against derby rivals Internazionale.