Kaka returns to old club AC Milan for final years of career
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
Four years removed from AC Milan, it's as if Kaka never left. After a record move nearly four years ago worth £65 million sending the Brazilian to Real Madrid, he's returned home. Call his stint with the Galaticos a bust, mediocre or even injury prone, but realistically Kaka was never truly given a chance to shine in Spain. Under Jose Mourinho, albeit a good manager, Kaka was forced to the bench as Mesut Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo highlighted the midfield. Too often we've seen careers fall at the wayside at the Santiago Bernabeu, but luckily enough for Kaka it is not too late to make amends.
While his best years may have come and gone, Kaka can still contribute to the Rossoneri. What Kaka brings to the table now is experience, exposure, and a better understanding for the game. Unfortunately for Kaka after suffering an injury in the beginning of his newest stint for AC Milan, he's been missed on the field. Off the field, Kaka's a huge asset to the entire Milan organization – he's been there and done that.
Without question, (four years ago) Kaka was one of the biggest names in world football. Some of today’s stars, like Gareth Bale, hadn't even been heard of back then. While it would be negative to say that Kaka could inhibit some of the younger players at Milan whom may have the potential desire to seek a bigger club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United, he certainly could offer his insight as to what it takes emotionally and physically to exceed at the highest level.
Kaka serves as a mentor to the younger players in Milan. Imagine the insight he must be handing down to Stephan El Shaarawy, who has been making a big case for himself as one of the better strikers throughout Europe. As for Mario Balotelli, who seems to have quieted down his controversial play and lifestyle, Kaka may lend a gentle hand to the feisty Italian as if to say "follow and you shall succeed," as Andrea Pirlo and Paolo Maldini did during the Brazilian's first stint with AC Milan.
His eternal love for the Rossoneri is readily apparent. The recognizable face, sporting the No. 22 jersey, many argue that he's not the best for Milan at this point in time. El Shaarawy has even made it clear that Kaka is his idol, which may prove to be that vital link between old and new players at the San Siro.
There is one catch to Milan's newest member. Real Madrid can receive a fee for Kaka which is dependent upon how Milan does this season, says Real Madrid Chief Florentino Perez. If Milan are able to quality for the Champions League, the Rossoneri will subsequently hand over £3 million to Madrid.
Some may say, "What's his value?" Well, first off while 31 may seem old he's anything but. Look at Andrea Pirlo, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, all players who have arguably played better as they've aged, become more aware of their abilities as footballers and how to make their respective teams more well rounded. Giggs used to run up and down the pitch like a mad man and now comfortably sits in the midfield patrolling any onrushing attacks. Kaka may not have the lightening quickness of Ronaldo or Bale but his vision to thread a pass may again make his entire squad look better.
While Kaka settles down once again in Milan, Bale will be temporarily renting his mansion in Madrid so he doesn't go stir-crazy like Michael Owen did during his time in Spain. Kaka will make his money elsewhere, claiming nearly £12,000 per month off Bale's temporarily residence.
With his heart in the right place, Kaka can do no wrong. While his long-term fitness is not in question, according to Milan vice president Adriano Gallaini, the Brazilian will serve his cause properly in Milan, where he will likely end his career.