Wright raves about Leao after his 'beautiful' goal for Portugal

Ian Wright raves about Rafael Leao after his ‘beautiful’ goal in Portugal’s hammering of Switzerland… as Nigel De Jong praises the winger’s ‘instant impact’ from the bench, and Ally McCoist hints that he deserves to play more

  • Rafael Leao came off the bench to score for Portugal against Switzerland 
  • Ian Wright was full of praise for his ‘beautiful’ injury-time strike in Qatar
  • Nigel De Jong also hailed Leao’s ‘instant impact’ from the bench for Portugal 
  • Ally McCoist is a fan of Leao’s and hinted that he should be playing more
  • Click here for the full report on Portugal’s emphatic victory against Switzerland 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Ian Wright was blown away by Rafael Leao’s ‘beautiful’ goal after his injury-time strike capped off a comprehensive 6-1 win for Portugal in their last-16 clash with Switzerland.

Leao came off the bench in the 87th minute to replace Bruno Fernandes, and got on the scoresheet within five minutes as he cut inside and found the top corner from the edge of the box.

Wright scored some similar goals during his own playing career, and was full of admiration for Leao’s goal.

Rafael Leao curled home an effort into the top corner in injury-time against Switzerland

He celebrated his second goal of the tournament with his trademark celebration

Ian Wright felt Leao’s goal was a ‘beautiful’ one and praised the winger’s dynamism

‘It’s how dynamic he was. He played it in behind, he got past the defender and the composure to whip it into that far corner – beautiful!’ Wright said as he talked through the goal on ITV.

Leao is yet to start a game in Qatar, but he has already scored two goals from the bench in the tournament.

Nigel De Jong feels the 23-year-old has different attributes to the other forwards in Portugal’s squad, which makes the team even more dangerous.  

‘He’s so different to those other players and wingers that they have. I’ve been watching him with Milan and he’s been having a fantastic season for them,’ De Jong said.

Nigel De Jong feels Leao offers Portugal something different in attack

‘He’s their star player, and for Portugal it takes time for him to make it into their first XI but when he comes on he makes an instant impact. 

‘The size of him, he looks more like a wide receiver from American Football than an actual winger so he’s another threat for this Portugal team.’

Leao may have only played a little over an hour at the World Cup, but Ally McCoist is convinced from his cameo appearances that he is a serious talent, and was full of praise for the winger on commentary when his shot went in.   

‘He can play, this lad. I was a little bit surprised that we didn’t see him until a lot later on, but boy has he made his mark. He scored earlier in the tournament, this is just a great finish,’ McCoist said.

Gary Neville believes Leao gives Portugal better balance, hinting that he should play more

McCoist seemed to be hinting that Leao deserves to play more – a sentiment that Gary Neville appears to agree with.

‘I really like him. I liked him when he came on in that first game, he gave them more balance in those wide areas but he’s been used again as a sub tonight,’ Neville added.

Portugal are now through to the quarter-finals to play Morocco, with Leao hoping his goal could see him get more game time as the team look to move one step closer to winning their first ever World Cup. 

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