Around midnight the re-elected Real Madrid president Florentino Perez did what many thought was impossible.
He finalized the €65 million switch which brought Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, or Kaká as he is more commonly known, to Real Madrid by making him the second most expensive player in history.
Back in January AC Milan was ready to sell their star player to Manchester City who tabled an astronomical bid of around the regions of €100 million. The club left the final decision down to Kaká, who later stated that he hadn’t even given the offer 30 seconds before turning it down.
The reason behind Milan’s lack of pressure for the move to go through was in some sense respect for the player. No offense to Manchester City, but they still have a long way to go before they’ll be able to fight with the Premier League top four. Instead, whispers of a summer move to Real Madrid began flourishing in the media.
During the January transfer window Kaká also pledged his love for the club and has continued to do so ever since. Just last Monday he gave an interview on the plane on his way to Brazil where he once again said he wants to continue winning titles with Milan.
The Brazilian ace has also stated on numerous occasions that he wants to end his career with the Rossoneri and perhaps one day captain the side he joined back in 2003 from San Paolo.
In the treacherous world of football where contracts and loyalty don’t mean a thing, Kaká represented quite the contrary. The love and loyalty the play maker has shown Milan during his six-year stint is a rare thing in the world of football, but unfortunately he had to part ways with the club he adored due to the financial aspects—not his own, but the club’s.
Vice president Adriano Galliani conceded that the reason behind the sale was solely due to economic reasons as the global economic crises is making itself felt at the club.
"The reasons for the departure of Kaka are solely economic. A great heart must confront the situation and make choices. Milan cannot go on losing 70 million euro a year,” Galliani said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The club’s failure to reach the Champions League last season resulted in the Rossoneri losing out of around €40 million in revenues. With the club losing another €30 million each season for the past couple of years the debt is threatening to build up leaving the club in a strained economic position.
Owner Silvio Berlusconi has pumped money into the club on numerous occasions in order to pay off debts, but naturally this can’t go on forever. Despite what the patron has said in the media regarding his wishes to keep Kaká at the club they’ve seemed rather transparent seeing as he’s switched his view point on more than one occasion.
Kaká being the big man he is, one who has always worn his heart on his sleeve, went on to give his first press conference after the deal was official. After hearing the words it seems that he was forced away rather than going of his own accord as he stated:
“I wanted to stay on at Milan, but the global economic crisis has affected many clubs, especially those like Milan that run as a business. I spoke with the directors and we agreed that the transfer would be in everybody’s interests at this moment in time”, he told Jornal Nacional.
These are hardly the words the Real Madrid supporters want to hear from their long anticipated acquisition who then went on to talk about his future in the Spanish capital where he hopes to make history.
Legendary Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta also believes Kaká left the club for the greater good, despite his obvious wishes to stay on.
“It's a painful decision but Milan will find a great substitute. Kaka did not want to go away. He is an intelligent lad and he accepted his fate for the good of Milan, finding motivation in a new adventure,” Costacurta told Sky Italia.
Although his departure will leave many Rossoneri and Calcio fans in general in great despair the decision is understandable from the club’s point of view as well as the business side of the game.
Milan doesn’t usually let go of players of Kaká’s caliber, let alone players of such importance, but with the financial situation at the club getting more out of hand each year there really was no other choice. This way the club can shift focus to the rest of the squad as the directors are adamant about not letting go of any more of their players.
Milan will, however, never forget the six years that Kaká spent with them where he played integral parts in the club’s Scudetto, Champions League, and the World Club Cup triumphs. It was also in the Italian fashion capital where Kaká became the best footballer in the world by picking up the prestigious Ballon D’Or.
All we can do now is wish him the best of luck as he embarks on his new adventure.