At some point soon, Kaka may well take the hint that his immediate future lies outside of Real Madrid. Since the Brazilian’s arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu in a €65 million deal in 2009, three of the four subsequent summers have seen players purchased who can play in Kaka’s favored spot behind the striker.
Mesut Ozil is still first choice for that role, but Luka Modric made himself No. 2 pick last season. Isco’s arrival is going to make Kaka’s job even more difficult in getting minutes, even on the bench, during what is a truly crucial year for the Brazilian. After all, if Kaka does not get a decent amount of playing time in the new campaign and perform extremely well to boot, then the Madrid man will be missing out on a World Cup taking place in his homeland.
For a figure who has played a role in the national side for over decade, it would be a crushing disappointment. Although Brazil are never shy of fielding golden oldies, Kaka being 32 for the tournament sees it realistically being the very last World Cup of his career. Therefore, it is quite puzzling why Kaka has chosen to stay at Real Madrid when he has not been first choice in the squad for three seasons now. Especially when it is an unfortunate situation that is only going to worsen in the new campaign.
Of course, a huge salary is a motivating factor on a deal that lasts until 2015, but money cannot buy a Brazilian World Cup spot. Over recent campaigns, stories have switched in the Spanish press between Kaka being offloaded by the club to hopes that old form of the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner had returned. This narrative is now with the latter after the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, Kaka’s manager at Milan. This must now be the footballer’s last, last, last, last, last, definitely last this time, chance to make it at Real Madrid.
“He is still one of the greats of the game,” claimed Florentino Perez to Gol Caracol de Colombia, who spoke about an unfortunate series of injuries for the player. However, the Real Madrid president pretty much admitted that the only value Kaka had for his club now was in terms of marketing. “He is the second-most-followed footballer on Twitter, after Cristiano Ronaldo,” noted Perez.
Kaka started just 13 league games in the past campaign, largely against opposition such as Celta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano and Mallorca. He is far from being a key player at the club, indeed his wages would considerably lighten the load on the institution’s bank account considering what little value Kaka offers. Bright, shining (and very expensive) starlet, Isco, is going to take another spot in a congested forward line.
Kaka may well have a last big campaign left in him, but it cannot possibly be at Real Madrid. What Kaka needs to do is put in a transfer request, ask the club to reduce the fee and considerably drop his salary demands.
There would be plenty of teams out there who would be delighted to pick up a hungry, but affordable Kaka. But only if the player himself really wants to make that happen. What is clear, though, is that if Kaka does not make a big decision over the next few weeks, then the chances of a World Cup appearance next summer are minimal to zero.