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Is Kaka's Return To Milan A Stroke Of Genius Or A Sign Of Desperation?

Saturday 7th September 2013
Have AC Milan made a wise move in brining Kaka to the San Siro ? Harry De Cosemo takes a look at what is in store for the player.

During his first spell at the San Siro, Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, Kaka to you and me, had the world at his feet. A player that personified grace on a football pitch, this magical playmaker inspired the Rossoneri to success after success, always with the same message: “I belong to Jesus”.That last phrase has been synonymous with Kaka, and tells you everything you need to know about him as a person. A humble Christian, he has never forgotten his beliefs. With every goal comes his trademark celebration, pointing both fingers skywards, thanking God for the privilege.

It's not just the privilege for being a world class footballer, but also the fact that he survived a horrific diving board accident which could have stopped him playing the game he loved.

When Milan signed Kaka from Sao Paolo in 2003 for around £5m, I don't think you could say what was to come was expected. The young Brazilian would be part of his team's 17th Scudetto winning season and run to the Champions League final in 2004/05, which they famously lost to Liverpool.

But two years later, with an aging squad around him, he would play a leading role as the Rossoneri would take revenge on the Premier League side, by overcoming them to lift their seventh Champions League title. Kaka was also named World Player of the Year for 2007.

Milan have had many successes over their history, but there is something quite spectacular about a squad collectively getting older, with names like Paulo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi, dominating Europe with just a little bit of youth and exuberance as their focal point.

Two more seasons at the San Siro followed before Kaka moved to Real Madrid as their latest Galactico, in a deal worth around £58m. But, like every other time Florentino Perez has tried to instil his project at the Santiago Bernabeu, Kaka's time in Spain failed to live up to expectations. Injuries were a recurring theme for the Brazilian, but he also wasn't able to recapture the form worth all that money when he got that chance.

A move back to Serie A, and back to Milan have been mooted in the past, but Kaka always said he wanted to stay and prove to the world that he deserved to wear the Los Blancos shirt, admirable.

But ironically, as Carlo Ancelotti, manager of Milan at the time of Kaka's amazing exploits arrived as manager at Real, the Brazilian decided his time was up.

His stock had fallen, dramatically, proven by the fact that Milan acquired him for a second time on a free transfer. Despite reportedly halving his salary, questions have been asked if Milan are wasting their time bringing back their former hero. Kaka returns to a very different team to the one he left four years ago, too. A complete revamp of the squad at the San Siro saw many players retire and leave the club, while other big name players have since been and gone.

At the age of 31, there is likely to be less impact on games too, but that's only natural. Kaka will also have to fight for the limelight with Mario Balotelli, and we all know he'll have a battle on his hands there.

However, it's always nice to head into an international break on the back of some good news. After a 3-1 home victory over Caligari last weekend, which eased the nerves after their opening day defeat, the return of their hero has gone down extremely well.

Kaka himself has also spoken of his homecoming in glowing terms, and for me it can only good for Milan and calcio too. And hey, getting a world class player twice for a single figure fee can't be bad, can it?
Harry De Cosemo
19 years old, Newcastle season ticket holder. European football enthusiast and aspiring football writer. Currently doing a Journalism degree at Teesside University. You can follow me on Twitter: @harrydecosemo

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