x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Kaka the new galactico

Real Madrid confirm the signing of Kaka from AC Milan in a ?65million (Dh333.5m) deal.

Kaka, left, fights for the ball with Diego Forlan during a World Cup 2010 qualifying soccer match against Uruguay on Saturday.
Kaka, left, fights for the ball with Diego Forlan during a World Cup 2010 qualifying soccer match against Uruguay on Saturday.

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Kaka from AC Milan in a ?65million (Dh333.5m) deal. The brilliant Brazilian becomes the first player to move to the Bernabeu since Florentino Perez returned to the club's presidency last week. Other giants of world football are set to follow. A week ago, faced with intensifying speculation that he was leaving the club he joined from Sao Paulo in 2003, Kaka, 27, seemed adamant.

"I'll say it for the last time, the last time, I don't want to leave Milan," he said. "In this period I prefer to remain silent because I don't want to be misunderstood. To the millions of Milan supporters, I say that I have made my choice. I have said what I want to stay. Leave me in peace, please." On Monday night, Kaka passed his Real medical after the Spanish club sent a doctor to Recife where he is training with Brazil for their match with Paraguay.

"Everything I've always done for Milan has been by mutual agreement, from the moment I arrived until my departure today - I'm leaving by the front door," Kaka explained. "I've won everything that I wanted as a player and this is a new motivation for me. I'm sure Real Madrid will build a competitive team which can start winning titles again. I hope to be part of this new project and help to win titles, both European and Spanish."

Real confirmed that: "Kaka has successfully passed all the medical tests. He has signed a six-year contract." Milan said: "We thank the great champion for his contribution to the many victories achieved in the past six years. It will be very difficult to fill the void that will be left by Kaka, a shining exa-mple of commitment and professionalism." Kaka said that he talked with his former Milan colleague David Beckham about joining Real, with the England midfielder advising that it would be a great move. Beckham is understood to have spoken glowingly of Perez, who enthused: "Kaka is one of the players that every team would like to have and Madrid had the chance to get him."

Perez implemented Real's galacticos policy, signing Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and David Beckham during his first six-year spell as president between 2000 and 2006. Real won the Champions League in 2002, before the club's longest spell without trophies for 50 years. If Kaka can be seen as the new Zidane, then Cristiano Ronaldo is hoped to be the new Figo. David Villa, Frank Ribery, Xavi Alonso and a world-class central defender are all desired by Perez, who added: "We are working on building a good team, an important team, and this has only just begun."

Kaka's departure has prompted his former Milan teammate and Brazilian compatriot Alexandre Pato to declare that he plans to hold talks with his former manager and new Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti before deciding on his own future. "He is an extraordinary man. It is thanks to Ancelotti that I managed to come through at Milan and in Italian football," Pato, 19, was quoted as saying in the Gazzetta dello Sport. "Before deciding my future I want to talk with him."

The loss of Kaka has led to supporter protests in Milan. New coach Leonardo has been linked with the quick purchase of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko to try to quell the unrest caused by the Kaka sale. amitten@thenational.ae