The ex-Sporting CP coach thinks that Rafael Leao is just as good as either Cristiano Ronaldo or Ronaldo Nazario.
’s power and pace reminds him of Brazil star
, whereas only
was as talented as Milan’s Leao is aged 18 atSporting CP
The former Sporting boss worked with the Leao at the Portuguese club and also coached Ronaldo before he made a move toManchester United
Leao has become a crucial part of Stefano Pioli’s plans this season as they aim to grab their first Scudetto since 2011, sitting two points adrift of Inter, while there are only two matches left.
The 22-year-old pulled off an impressive display asMilan
vanquished Hellas Verona on Sunday. He has netted the most goals (10) in the league this season, creating 38 chances.
Talking to Italian publications Tuttomercatoweb, Fernandes praised Leao and compared him with Ronaldo.
"Leao has the power of Ronaldo, he has the talent to solve matches on his own,"
said Fernandes, who coached Sporting between 2011 and 2018.
"He reminds me of the 'Phenomenon' [Ronaldo] with speed, technique and explosiveness in decisive moments, qualities that this season have emerged every game to drag Milan towards great results."
He then spoke about his memories of working with Leao at Sporting’s academy and he believes the only other player to have shown so much potential was Ronaldo.
"We are talking about a very special guy for me, I'm so happy with what he's doing," he added on the Milan star. "I met him when he was just 12-13 years old, coaching him in almost all the youth teams of Sporting until his first team debut at 18.
"I can assure you that only Cristiano Ronaldo in Lisbon had the same talent as him at that age. It is very exciting. It repays the many hours of work spent together on the pitch at Sporting.
"I am proud that he has landed in a great club like the Rossoneri, he is doing very well. I want him to win the Scudetto, now there are only two games left to finish the job."
Regarding his future, Fernandes thinks the player can play for some of the greatest teams with the qualities he has.
"Rafael has the talent to play in the best clubs in the world, from Real Madrid to Barcelona,"
"I am convinced that he has an incredible career ahead of him."
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