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With Kaká in the starting XI for the Madrid derby and Özil on the bench, Mourinho gave the Brazilian his big chance to show why he should be Los Blancos' central attacking playmaker heading into the matches against Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The former Ballon d'Or winner has been in exceptional form as of late, showing the goalscoring and creative ability of a true world-class player.
Although the Brazilian has been playing his best football in a Madrid shirt, he struggled to make an impact in the derby. Kaká has received praise from the coaching staff for his energy and closing down in midfield, but that part of his game was invisible during the beginning of the first half.
Madrid were struggling to control the midfield, and Kaká was slow to drop back to help out Alonso and Khedira. Although he started to get on the ball more towards the end of the first half, his overall performance was rather underwhelming and disappointing.
For a player that has been asserting himself on both sides of the ball, Kaká looked slightly off the pace and seemed unable to get a foothold in the match.
Mourinho was forced to make a change at halftime, bringing on Özil to replace the Brazilian playmaker. Although the German was not exceptional in possession, he checked back to receive the ball and helped Madrid gain more control of the midfield.
With the matches against Munich and Barca around the corner, Kaká will be frustrated with his performance in such an important match. Had he delivered in the derby, there would have been a strong possibility of him starting against Bayern on Tuesday.
However, Los Blancos looked more composed and dangerous with Özil on the pitch, and Mourinho will most likely opt for the German playmaker in the most important matches of the season.