With Kaka absent from Serie A competition, who will replace him as an ambassador for the league?
Of course, this is the newest extension to an all-pervasive debate in European football, a contentious point that has witnessed discriminate opinions and prejudicial arguments thrown into an insatiable fray.
Florentino Perez, the re-elected president of Real Madrid, initiated the resuscitation of a Galactico era begun in 2002, consummating a deal with AC Milan for their Brazilian prized possession worth a reported fee of €65 million.
That number surely quantifies Perez’s imposition, does it not?
It has ramifications in the anticipation of a construction entailing and culminating in a handful of Europe’s ubiquitous players; it holds an intriguing mystique under which many may contend the proposed authority Perez wishes to seek by endeavouring to lure the players personified by their off-field sensation and thrusting the club back into European eminence.
It also bears an analysis of what may become of La Liga should more players abandon other leagues in a venture vested in building a team of hegemonic status.
Should Cristiano Ronaldo ever make the trip to his native land's neighbouring country, along with Franck Ribery and perhaps a civic switch for David Villa, there would be a concentration of talent in Spain that may shadow or even dwarf other leagues.
The Serie A—as evidently confirmed by Kaka’s move abroad and his former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s shift to Chelsea in the early onset of transfer season—has felt the brunt of speculative journalism thus far, most of which could not be differentiated as fact or fiction.
Kaka, after all, professed his love for the Milan shirt, asserted his desire to be captain once Paolo Maldini left his post, and recently assured fans of his loyalty to the club.
This would lead one to say this, like former Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban:
“Milan just allowed themselves to be robbed by selling prestigious players, something which has never happened previously under (Milan owner) Silvio Berlusconi.
“Milan has never sold such great players, and I am disappointed. I am sorry for all this, and it’s a shame that money makes players leave, but there have been players who stayed on. However, Kaka was free to make his own choice.”
Boban added: “There were tears and protests from the fans, and it seemed like turning down Manchester City was a definitive ‘yes’ to Milan, but obviously it wasn’t. Those players who want to stay on at Milan do, and the club never allows a player who wants to stay to leave, especially players like Kaka.”
But is it enough to believe the league is faltering?
The magnitude of Kaka as a player—although many can impose the case citing he no longer harbours the same volatile speed and unabated play as that which was seen a few years ago—is amplifying the reverberations of the move, and signs suggesting other Serie A starlets, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic of city rival Inter Milan, could depart from the peninsula are equally ominous.
All of which could substantiate concern for the Italian league, which predominantly comprises of native talent and can only boast few renowned players within a handful of rosters—not necessarily a bad prospect for dedicated fans of Serie A, but one that may cause fringe fans to spurn the league.
The retirement of Maldini, Pavel Nedved, and Luis Figo add to the depth of players uprooted from the league this year, and that may have palpable as well as tangible repercussions in the form of the league’s appeal in Europe.
Let’s take, for example, the average home attendances that have been collected and stored from the past season. Remarkably, the Bundesliga has a stranglehold in the category, posting an average turnout of 42,600, followed by the Premier League’s 35,600, Serie A and La Liga’s 25,000 and the French league’s 21,000.
If Real Madrid are successful in swaying more prominent players to the Bernabeu, it is definite the numbers in Spain will increase, coupled by a plausible decrease in Serie A. Not to direct any disrespect to the French, but that would situate Italian football in a place of perhaps collective irrelevancy in a grand European scope.
But then, of course, that would mean internal perception would change, too.
However, there is still an entire summer of transfers looming—and the compensation fee met by Perez to Milan may suffice as enough to recoup the loss of Kaka.
So speaking of aesthetics, which Perez ostensibly coveted at the helm of his previous Galactico outfit, Serie A may be preoccupied with salvaging their own image in coming months.