Saturday September 14 2013
The second coming of Kaka

Kaka may not have returned to Milan quite the same player as when he left, but Frank Tigani thinks the Brazilian still has magic in those boots.

On September 1, 2003, a young Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite made his official debut for Milan. Despite his tender years and inexperience, Carlo Ancelotti played him from the start. It came as a surprise to most, after all this was a team that included the likes of Rivaldo, Clarence Seedorf and Manuel Rui Costa – all of whom had to be content with a place on the bench.

What was most surprising about Ancelotti’s decision was that two months prior, he himself knew little about Milan’s new Brazilian signing. He famously quipped upon seeing Kaka arrive in Milan: “Oh God, we’ve signed a university student.”

But such was the impact that Kaka made on the training grounds at Milanello that Ancelotti would later remark: “He wasn’t at Zinedine Zidane’s level, but almost. The second best player I’ve coached and definitely the most intelligent… The following training sessions were like the first. The third, the fourth, the fifth, all the same, a show.” Thus, Kaka found himself thrusted into the first team and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to now, 10 years later almost to the day, and Kaka is on the verge of making his debut again for Milan. And the feelings are much the same for the player. "I'm happy with all this excitement, I am like a little boy who is about to debut.”

Though, of course, Kaka is no child any more. At 31 years old, he is now one of the senior players in the squad. He is also a different player. That speed with which he used to glide gracefully beyond defenders is no longer there. But the hunger remains. “I will do everything possible to play well and make the fans happy… we want to win.”

Though he may not admit it, despite all the success he has had in his career, Kaka probably feels he has a point to prove. Four years at Real Madrid marked by injuries, lack of playing time and poor form has cast a shadow over an otherwise glittering career. Now back at Milan, with all the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding his return, Kaka is hoping to turn back the clock.

Expectations, though, should be tempered and time is required, as former teammate Gennaro Gattuso has cautioned. “Patience is needed with Kaka. I hope the fans don’t expect to see the Kaka of the past. The Brazilian hasn’t played that much over the last three years and he hasn’t been expressing himself at his levels.”

While Kaka may not quite be as good as he used to be, this does not mean he cannot be a real asset to the Diavolo. He is still a player of a quality that most can only ever dream of. And he will contribute with goals and assists even if not to the extent that he once did.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri is certainly happy with the new addition to his team. “He is a player of great quality that we can do with.” With the lack of naturally creative players at Allegri’s disposal, Kaka’s attacking abilities should prove useful.

It is not just his qualities on the field that Kaka will bring. According to Allegri, Kaka is already spending a lot of his time at Milanello where his mere presence “has raised the level of self-confidence throughout the squad.” This can only be positive for the younger players who will be able to learn from his experience and professionalism. Milan’s promising young attacking midfielder Riccardo Saponara is one of them: “I’m watching him closely. I really want to learn as much as I can.”

Just like back in 2003, Kaka is likely to debut from the start and thus will begin his second coming with Milan. It may not quite be the same journey together this time around for both player and club, but this doesn’t mean it will not be a fruitful one. 

Have your say...
Up up up up up up milan we have goodresult on tmorrow
on the 27th September, 2013 at 6:51pm

No wagon, you didn't say "I can contest so you can reply", you said "You contest the point I make about kaka which is fine "

Well, I guess my rate of your stupidity is: minus infinity to plus infinity.

So, shut your smelly mouth because it's pouring stupidity.
on the 20th September, 2013 at 7:38pm

Unfortunately, you have yet again made yourself stupid, something we are all becoming accustomed to in your posts. Of course I said you can contest my point but I also told you to provide some credible 'evidence'. You don't do that. You just post nonsense. You never make a point. You just contest to get some attention. Poor child you need some friends, as I said you were posting during one of the biggest boxing fights this year you loser.
on the 18th September, 2013 at 3:47pm
It was my fault that I commented on such a post. You started you post by saying that I didn't make any valid points, then finished with "You contest the point I make about kaka which is fine"

Could you tell me what's the level of your stupidity ?

You are so pathetic and yet again made an absolute fail against me. go to your bed and cover real nice.
on the 17th September, 2013 at 7:50pm

One more thing. Funny how you ignored my previous post which illustrated your stupidity. Your lack of a response just goes to show you accept my comment that you made a fool of yourself. This is what happens when the student attempts to challenge his master, the master makes a fool of him.
on the 17th September, 2013 at 7:33pm
Viktoria Firstly, I'm not your 'bro'. Your so dense you can't interpret the message in my post, it was a dig at Milan. You don't need to worry about my loyalty son, I'm a juve fan and have been since childhood. Your clearly very bitter because your grass is dead, whilst ours is a lush healthy green lol.
on the 17th September, 2013 at 7:31pm

You still dont get it kiddo do you? You cant just switch team like you switch socks. Juve fan are ashamed of you bro. You're not a sincere juve fan, you root for teams that are doing well then switch. That's pathetic, SON.
on the 17th September, 2013 at 1:44pm
Maldinis heir

I have the perfect solution for your tears. Support juventus son.
on the 16th September, 2013 at 4:59pm
Looks like Kaka is taking a pay break while he's injured. What a legend. Allegri's Champions League squad selection and Umberto Gandini's farcical miscount are looking particularly problematic now. Looks like we'll have to change back to 4-3-3 now that we don't have Saponara in the squad. Only we'll have to do so without Niang. Its time for the ace Birsa is going to have to shine. This is all looking very promising for Celtic!
on the 16th September, 2013 at 1:33pm
Turning to tactics here's a tip for Allegri. Emanuelson wasn't good enough last season. He's not good enough this season. Constant is not great but at least he had started to gain an understanding with the rest of the team. In midfield De Jong and Muntari are both slow. Therefore don't play both. The rest of team there's not much you can do about. Perhaps try some Primavera players in defence instead of Mexes and Zapata. What a farce.
on the 16th September, 2013 at 9:18am
One thing we can do something about now is sack our entire medical team and overhaul Milan lab. There is nothing "unlucky" about being hit with injury crises every season since 2003. We are never going to win the league again while we continually lose 6 - 7 players (more) at a time to injury. And as a lay person can I just observe that we seem to have a thigh injury epidemic at Milan. It always seems to be thigh injuries. Perhpas Football Italia can do a special investigation and find out!
on the 16th September, 2013 at 9:18am
So Milan's season is already turning farcical. Our "defence" has leaked 4 goals in 3 matches. Check. We already have an "injury crisis" after 3 matches. Check. Allegri is already making some odd decisions (Emanuelson it seems suddenly learned to play left back sitting on the bench at Fulham). Check. Our former players are doing well elsewhere (Antonini). Check. This is not going to be a good season. There's little point complaining now about the transfers since the door is closed.....
on the 16th September, 2013 at 9:15am
"The question is can he stay injury free"

Indeed that is the question if he can then there is no doubt he will contribute to milan but I don't think he will stay fit and looking at the rumors circulating online he is already injured. With more rumors of Spurs sniffing around the Little Pharaoh Milan need to get their priorities straight or risk loosing a player with a great future over one that had a great past but who is physically to fragile now.
on the 15th September, 2013 at 8:48pm
Juve will be making a big mistake if they let Llorente go out on loan in January he is a top player just needs time as he has hardly played in the last year. Kaka also needs time. Does anyone else agree that Bardi deserves a call up from Cesare. He has been excellent so far for Livorno and played very well in the under 21 euros. Mancini would be a total disaster if he got the Italy job.
on the 15th September, 2013 at 6:56pm
Really pleased with my teams start to the season, hopefully we can win at Parma tomorrow then beat the enemy next week. Forza Roma. Fiorentina will really miss Gomez that's a big blow for them as is their other injury. Well done Di Natale, a great player. Prandelli should call Di Natale, Balo, Osvaldo, SES, Cassano, Rossi and Insigne to the world cup. If Prandelli leaves really don't want Mancini. My choice would be Conte or Ancelotti. Llorente will come good just needs more time.
on the 15th September, 2013 at 6:52pm

I'm sure your very tough over the keyboard you clown, I'm glad your angry. And I hope you feel even more stupid about your comment saying you will post when he scores. He didnt score you mug so looks like I'm the one laughing at you. Your so daft you can't even recall Man U didnt even play Milan in the cl final in 2005 Lol and I'm the one that knows nothing about football? You've just made yourself look a mug son. Kaka doesn't have on the ball flicks and tricks simple as.
on the 15th September, 2013 at 1:45pm
Riccardo Kaka belongs to Jesus and the Jesus i know will never put him to shame on his 2nd missionary journey as a Diavolo...FORZA MILANO!!!
on the 14th September, 2013 at 10:44pm
@ Dan Giambrone

Agreed. I don't think there's stronger man who can take the Azzurri after Prandelli is Conte, but I believe he will not be taking La Nazionale any time soon. I think the best available choice after CP is in Russia, Spalletti.

Mancini & Allegri definitely would be poor choices.

However, If there's a chance Capello can take over, that would be the best then.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 9:30pm

"He has never been good at on the ball skills, flicks or tricks"

Flicks & tricks are for clowns not players. However, saying he's not skilled on the ball, that's just a blatant stupidity.

He's got what almost all Milan players lack now, which is a mind. A mind that knows how to play football.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 9:19pm

I rarely get pissed. However your statement made me beyond angry. He never been good on the balls skills??? Are you mad? Listen son, watch he's goal against Man U 2005 in the CL final. Your statement is embarrassing and clearly you know none about football. Even if he doesnt have a comeback at milan hes still a living legend. In about 45 mins he will score and I will write here again laughing at ya.

Haters be haters.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 6:03pm
@ Dan Giambrone I agree fingers crossed Mancini does not become Italy manager. I also do not want to see Allegri. He has annoyed me enough at Milan. Guidolin is a good shout. Conte would be amazing and also it might give someone else a chance in Serie A. Don't forget Ancellotti. Can he survive a season at Real....
on the 14th September, 2013 at 1:25pm
Kaka is very different to Sheva. Anyone who YouTubes "The best past of the 21st century so far" will see Kaka's pass to Crespo in the 2005 final. He really is such a gifted player and I agree with Dan Giambrone that age should not effect him. The question is can he stay injury free and is head in the right place?
on the 14th September, 2013 at 1:18pm
Said it like a BOSS....

KAKA's return will be much the same as Shevchenko, this is not going to end well.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 12:32pm
Interesting words from Capello re: Allegri & the National team. Who would you like to see takeover from CP? I would like to see Guidolin given a chance. He has done great things at Udinese, so imagine what he could do with a stronger squad. I haven't mentioned Conte or Montella as they are both doing great work in making Serie A strong again. I most certainly do not want Mancini! His sides often play in a reactive rather than proactive manner, & his man-management appear to be awful.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 10:40am
I'm glad the blog acknowledges kaka's speed had gone. So what is left? Kaka was only ever about which would put him in positions to create. If he can't run how will he create? He has never been good at on the ball skills, flicks or tricks.

Also, brazilians are infamous for having short shelve lives. At his age he is already pushing it fr a Brazilian.

I can't help but feel this will be similar to shevchenkos return.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 10:37am
Too much can be made of a players age. I feel that kaka is in a similar mould to Baggio, Totti, & Del Piero. These players lost their pace but are/were still amazing because they had so much skill, depth, & intelligence to their games. In some ways these legends are/were even better in their latter years because their experience led to them making better decisions on the ball. Sheva suffered because his game was based mostly on pace & power, whereas Kaka's is based more on guile & creativity.
on the 14th September, 2013 at 9:28am

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