x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Kaka lowers Real expectations

The Brazil and Real Madrid player warns that marquee signings alone will not necessarily lead to trophies.

Talking from the experience of his country's poor showing at the 2006 World Cup, the Brazilian Kaka said Madrid will not be invincible just by having him and Ronaldo in the side.
Talking from the experience of his country's poor showing at the 2006 World Cup, the Brazilian Kaka said Madrid will not be invincible just by having him and Ronaldo in the side.

Brazilian superstar Kaka has risked the wrath of Real Madrid's recently re-elected president, Florentine Perez, by insisting the Spanish giants' £180 million (Dh1bn) close-season spending spree does not guarantee on-field invincibility. With Perez intent to resurrect the club's turn-of-the-millenium Galacticos era, Los Blancos' frenetic transfer market activity has so far yielded four expensive acquisitions, including the Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, the French striker Karim Benzema, Spain's defensive stalwart, Raul Albiol and Kaka.

However, Kaka - a summer purchase from Serie A giants AC Milan - believes marquee signings do not necessarily precede world-class football, or results. "From my experience I can assure that talent alone is not sufficient," he said. "The Brazil team in 2006 was magnificent, we had a lot of talent, but we had deficiencies which prevented us from progressing." Real's spending has raised expectations among fans, but Kaka knows that if his new club are to eclipse its domestic and European rivals, the team must come first.

"Real Madrid have Cristiano and Kaka, which is very good because we are players with quality, but we have to form a team and work very hard," he said. "With only Cristiano and Kaka Madrid are not invincible. We need to work on many things over time and I hope we achieve them. We have a very ambitious and very long project." Ronaldo used his Madrid unveiling to proclaim his debut season's personal objective was to secure a minimum of one major trophy. And Kaka, despite his caution, believes Real should strive for success.

"The Madrid fans deserve that we try and win every title, because they are wanting to celebrate success with us," he said. "I don't know if we are going to achieve it, but we are going for the treble. I've come to Real Madrid to win every title and I'm going to work very hard for this. I want to win everything," he said. Madrid's Champions League rivals Manchester United - expected to indulge in their own flurry of transfer activity after pocketing £80m from the world record sale of Ronaldo - have closed the door on any more off-season signings, according to Old Trafford manger, Sir Alex Ferguson. "It is the end of our business, so all these stories about who were are supposed to be getting - forget it," he said.

The United manager has already recruited Wigan's Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia and Bordeaux prospect Gabriel Obertan to replace the departed Ronaldo. With Argentina's Carlos Tevez also slipping through the Premier League champions' revolving summer door, Ferguson has strengthen his attacking options by bringing in Michael Owen - yesterday given Ronaldo's vacated No 7 shirt - on a free transfer from relegated Newcastle. And while it was anticipated the Scot would make further signings, he has decided his current squad is strong enough to push for a fourth consecutive English title.

"I feel we have a good squad, which meant there was no need for knee-jerk reactions," he said. Ferguson, known for developing youngsters into world-beaters, revealed fledgling forwards Daniel Welbeck and Federico Macheda will play larger parts in the coming season. "They are both young players - but young players with ability always get a chance here." emegson@thenational.ae