The young Portuguese forward broke a 19-year-old record by finding the net
Rafael Leao has scored the quickest Serie A goal in history, finding the net in just six seconds for AC Milan in their win against Sassuolo on Sunday.
The previous record was set by Piacenza’s Paolo Poggi, which was netted in eight seconds in December 2001.
Leao’s goal was an extraordinary effort as the Rossoneri quite literally charged forwards from kick-off.
With the match underway, five visiting players stormed directly towards the Sassuolo goal, blitzing by the home side who were clearly was not braced for such a start.
Leao was the left-most of the advancing players, but 30 yards out made a diagonal run between the right-back and the centre-back. It was not adequately policed, and the Portuguese had soon accelerated beyond both defenders to get on the end of a delicate pass delivered from Hakan Calhanoglu.
He was beyond the defence after just five seconds and planted his shot into the corner of the net.
It was the 21-year-old forward’s third goal in Serie A this season and fourth overall. In addition, he has three assists to his name.
Belgium midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers doubled Milan’s lead before half-time, with Domenico Berardi’s late free-kick not enough for Sassuolo.
The win maintains the Rossoneri’s one-point lead ahead of rivals Inter at the top of Serie A.
Leao started his career at Sporting CP but left controversially when he unilaterally cancelled his contract with the club following an incident that saw players and staff attacked at the training ground.
As one of the club’s outstanding prospects – he had been branded the “Portuguese Mbappe” – this represented a huge blow for Sporting and he would go on to sign for Lille in Ligue 1 on a five-year contract.
After a sluggish start in France, he enjoyed an impressive second half to the season and ended with an impressive eight goals.
He would play just a single season in France before moving on to Milan for an estimated fee of €30 million (£26.5m/$36m).
With Milan, he has continued to show some promise. His strike against Sassuolo was his 10th in the colours of the Rossoneri, though he has more commonly been pushed into the shadows by Zlatan Ibrahimovic who continues to be a prolific scorer of goals deep into his career.
With 11 strikes to his name this season, Ibrahimovic is the club’s leading marksman.