What Kaka's Return to Form Means for AC Milan

Richard HallContributor INovember 6, 2013

Kaka is back, but back to his best?
Kaka is back, but back to his best?

"Siam venuti fin qua per vedere segnare Kaka," was the message from the Milan fans "We came here to see Kaka score."

The Brazilian had returned from his torrid time at Real Madrid to a place that he believed was home and a fanbase that undoubtedly adored him. This, however, was a different Milan to the one he left five years ago and come to think of it a different Serie A. 

He himself was a different Kaka to the man who left for Spain, albeit with a tear in his eye.

It is possible to immediately question the motives or reasoning for Kaka’s return to Milan. On the face of it he looks like an injury-prone 31-year-old who had failed at Madrid, limping back to a club whose fans love him so much they will forgive his decline.  

It should not be forgotten, however, that Kaka desperately wanted to stay with the Rossoneri and only moved when it was made abundantly clear that they could not turn down the €65 million sum Madrid had offered.

It is true that he was unlucky with injury, but he is still only a youngster when compared to two of Serie A’s best players, Antonio Di Natale and Francesco Totti.

Kaka took a huge reduction in pay to return to "his" club, which suggests that his heart is in this move and as a player this can prove vital.

Milan are certainly a different team to the one that Kaka left. The Brazilian had been top scorer in the 2008/09 squad who finished third that year. He was playing alongside Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, "Pippo" Inzaghi, and Clarence Seedorf.

The team had an identity and oozed with class even though most were on the wrong side of 30.

The world has changed much in this time, and these institutions of the Italian game have now gone and been replaced with the rebellious Mario Balotelli, the inconsistent Robinho and the floundering striking efforts of Giampaolo Pazzini and Alessandro Matri, the expectations on Kaka are now even greater.

Kaka is visibly more relaxed now that he is back as a Rossoneri, and it has showed in his early performances, although he is being used sparingly by Massimiliano Allegri. This has most likely helped him as he looks fitter and much sharper than he did in Spain.

In the games when he has had time to get on the ball and show what he can still do, it has been obvious that he has integrated into the team and is working hard for them.

His relationship with Nigel de Jong was evident against Lazio, as he started to develop a good understanding with him, an element that could be crucial to the Milan midfield. His crowning moment came against Lazio when he pulled in from the left before unleashing a devastating drive that threatened to pierce the Romans' net, a moment of magic that gave the fans what they had been craving.

Kaka's heatmap Vs Lazio, he was everywhere on field. pic.twitter.com/dbBzbGWU78

— Milan Fans ★ (@MilanEye) October 30, 2013

Milan currently sit an unacceptable 11th in the Serie A standings, and many in the Italian press are starting to use that famous word: "crisis."

Kaka’s return has certainly given their fans a lift, but only time will tell if he can return to his form that at one time left the Curva Sud in awe.

The Rossoneri need his help desperately, and there are signs that he certainly could become integral.

However, even if this was the Kaka of old, this is not the Milan of old, and it is debatable if the Brazilian can carry them on his own.