Moments of Brilliance

Leao is often criticized for "going missing" or not working hard enough or who knows what else. It seems that criticism is always more plentiful than gratitude these days. But then, out of the blue, he will produce an incredible assist or an exquisite goal, and suddenly, everyone loves him again. I suppose that is why he has used the "talk-talk" gesture to shut people up when he scores, he knows that people talk about him. But in between those periods of not producing anything, he is prone to produce breathtaking moments of brilliance.

Prone to moments of absolute brilliance

Some people are quick to remember when Leao was played in the place of Ibrahimovic for an extended period of time this season when the Swedish striker was out injured. Let's be fair here, no one could replace Ibrahimovic. No one else can do what he does. Plus, Leao is only 21, a little more than half of Ibrahimovic's age. Add to that, Leao is not exactly a typical center forward. All of that, combined with the fact that we were missing a lot of players during that spell, it should not really surprise that he was at times frustrating as far as producing goals or assists.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that he has scored seven goals and has five assists in all competitions this season. That is actually not a bad tally for most attackers. Even better that he is only 21. Considering that he also produced and released a rap album during this time, he is more productive than a majority of 21 year-olds. (Disclaimer: I have not listened to his music, so I am not able to comment on its brilliance or lack thereof.)

THE goal

Most fans want all players to fire on all cylinders all of the time. But that is simply not realistic. Everyone has good and bad days at the office, and at life in general. But what makes Leao special is that his good days are freaking amazing. His goal against Benevento was my absolute favorite goal of the season, and we have been treated to some pretty good ones this year. He rarely scores a boring goal, and so we wait during the minutes of little to no production. Because his goals are simply worth the wait.

Always worth the wait.

Finding a striker with consistency is important to winning. Every team needs that person who will score when it is most needed. But football is also called the beautiful game for a reason. Every team needs a Leao to bring entertainment and joy. He plays with such joy, too, it seems he is always smiling when he is on the ball. I am always smiling when he is on the ball, too, because he is one of those players that is just fun to watch. As he grows and gains more experience, maybe his production rate will increase. But for now, I'm happy to sit back and enjoy those amazing moments of brilliance.

This post inspired by the music of Muse's "Feeling Good"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 31
Milan vs. Genoa
Sunday, April 18 • 12:30 CEST (6:30am EDT)

Moments of Brilliance Moments of Brilliance Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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