Real Madrid's Kaka.
It’s easy to see why—when Kaka took to the field for the Rossoneri, he was one of the best players in the world.
He left San Siro and signed for Real Madrid in 2009 and has made just 85 La Liga appearances since his £56 million move to the club.
Despite occasional glimpses of brilliance, his stature has diminished after four injury-hit and bench-warming seasons at the Bernabeu.
However, Kaka was unstoppable in his prime and he was a hero for the Rossoneri. Perhaps he could recapture his genius with a move back to Italy.
With Milan, Kaka won Serie A, the UEFA Super Cup, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
His personal achievements with the side include 2004 Serie A Player of the Year, 2007 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 2007, 2007 Ballon D’or, and 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year.
Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi appears to have made his interest in Kaka known this week, according to reports in Marca.
Even Jose Mourinho, who managed Kaka at Real Madrid, appeared to suggest that Milan could be a good switch for the Brazilian. He told Italian TV Station Rai (via espnfc.com):
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"At Real Madrid we never saw the real Kaka. He must be happy and Milan could be a good solution."
However, Milan’s vice president and CEO Adriano Galliani appears to have ruled out a move for the midfielder. In a statement to Sky Sports (via Goal.com), he said:
"Kaka has very high wages and is now 31, so I can rule out any move to Milan."
The Brazilian scored 95 goals in 260 appearances for AC Milan and registered 47 assists. With the right man-management and an extended run in the side, Kaka may be able to recapture some of his earlier form.
If Real Madrid are willing to negotiate a good price with AC Milan, it could increase the likelihood of a move. Kaka himself said that he only left the San Siro to help the club’s finances and that he will always have a sentimental link to the club, as reported in the Telegraph.
Would Real Madrid to AC Milan be a good move for Kaka?
There may not be room for another striker—Milan already have Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy, M’Baye Niang and Giampaolo Pazzini—but Kaka could fit in as a playmaker or trequartista in a 4-3-1-2 formation for Massimo Allegri’s side.
One factor that might see Kaka staying at Real Madrid is the announcement of the club’s new manager. It is widely believed that former Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti will take over, as reported by Antony Kastrinakis in the The Sun.
Kaka's most successful period in football was under Carlo Ancelotti at AC Milan. In an interview with ESPN (via Marca) in March, he said:
The best years of my career came under him [Ancelotti],
I want to have at least one good season at Real Madrid: that's the challenge I've set myself. I don't know if you know what it's like to be frustrated in your job, but that's the sort of feeling I have here. I'm waiting until the end of the season to find out if I'm staying, on what terms and if I'm going to get more playing time.
Kaka’s future may be in doubt for some time. Perhaps we’ll see a revival under Ancelotti at Real Madrid or maybe a hero’s return in the red and black stripes of AC Milan.
Hopefully, whatever the outcome, we’ll get to see the old Kaka again.