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Real Madrid have two of the world's top playmakers in Mesut Özil and Kaká. When the German international joined Los Blancos in 2010, it was unclear what roles they would play when fully fit.
For the majority of Mourinho's reign, Özil has been the team's chief playmaker and a permanent fixture in the starting XI. In his 4-2-3-1 formation, the Madrid No. 10 has been the first-choice central attacking midfielder, with Ronaldo and Ángel di María on the wings.
After the Argentine winger's recent disciplinary issues, Mourinho chose to drop him from the starting XI against Ajax. For the first time this season, he tested out the Özil and Kaká experiment.
Although Mourinho stayed with the same 4-2-3-1 formation, he started the Brazilian as the central attacking midfielder and Özil out on the right wing. The Portuguese tactician tried this setup in Madrid's preseason match against Chivas, but it was unsuccessful.
Los Blancos looked confused and stagnant in the final third. Özil and Kaká were unable to combine and the team lacked natural width. Madrid were narrow going forward and the two playmakers seemed too similar to play together.
The performance against Ajax proved that they can be effective on the same pitch. Los Blancos lacked the width down the right flank, but the inclusion of two creative players helped spark the Madrid attack.
In addition, Kaká's shooting and finishing ability gave Madrid an additional goalscoring threat. With Di María on the right and Özil through the middle, Los Blancos predominantly relied on Benzema and Ronaldo to carry the goalscoring burden. However, with the Brazilian as part of the attacking quartet, Madrid had another player capable of scoring goals.
Di María has been the team's first-choice right-winger since arriving from Benfica. However, with the resurgence of Kaká, he will have some serious competition for a regular place in the starting XI.
The two playmakers can play together and be a dynamic, creative force in the attack. With the incisive football on display, the Özil and Kaká experiment could become part of the regular starting XI for Mourinho in the near future.