Birth Date:10 June 1999
Birth Place:Almada Setúbal
At AC Milan since:2019
Rafael Alexandre da Conceição Leão was born in Almada to Angolan parents on 10 June 1999. Rafa grew up in footballing terms at Sporting Lisbon, and was soon making his debut both domestically and internationally. In October 2017, he got his first opportunity in the Taça de Portugal and got off the mark straight away; he then went on to make his first-team senior debut in the Primeira Liga and in the Europa League in February 2018.
He was sold to LOSC Lille in the summer of 2018, and in his one season there made 26 appearances and eight goals. AC Milan were alerted to the Portuguese talent, after his successful season in Ligue 1 and performances at the Under-20 World Cup, and in his first two seasons at San Siro, he gradually got minutes as a left-side attacking forward. On 20 December 2020, he entered the history books for scoring the fastest ever goal in the top 5 European leagues, 6.76 seconds against Atalanta.
But it was in the 2021/22 season that he reached new heights and delivered his best season to date, scoring more than the two previous ones put together. He was also nominated as MVP at the end of the title-winning Serie A season. As of June 2022, he has played 115 times and grabbed 27 goals. His performances for AC Milan were recognized by Portugal too, as he achieved his first senior cap in a friendly against Qatar in 9 October 2021; previously, he had reached the Under-21 European final with the Seleção das Quinas.