x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Madrid signs Kaka from AC Milan

Real Madrid confirm the signing of the Brazil star at a figure rumoured to be in the region of ?65 million.

Brazil's Kaka, centre, speaking to journalists after a press conference in Recife, north-eastern Brazil, on Monday.
Brazil's Kaka, centre, speaking to journalists after a press conference in Recife, north-eastern Brazil, on Monday.

MADRID // Real Madrid has confirmed the signing of the Brazil star Kaka in the first step in club president Florentino Perez' plan to return the Spanish side to the glory days of its "galactico" era. While Real Madrid did not disclose financial details of Kaka's switch from AC Milan, reports say the figure is in the region of ?65 million (Dh334.2m), eclipsing the largest previous transfer set by Zinedine Zidane when he joined Madrid from Juventus for Dh239m in 2001.

Kaka, 27, training with the national team in Brazil ahead of the next round of World Cup qualifiers, said the finalisation of the six-year contract marked the end of a "soap opera" that will usher in a new phase of his career in Spain. "Now the soap opera is over," Kaka told a media conference after a practice ahead of Wednesday's Brazil-Paraguay qualifier in the northeastern coastal city of Recife. "The only leftover details were the medical exams, and I've done them. The negotiations are closed and I have sealed my transfer to Real Madrid."

Kaka passed a medical in Recife earlier on Monday. "Kaka is one of the players that every team would like to have and Madrid had the chance to get him," Perez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero just before the signing was announced. Kaka is the first player to join Madrid since Perez regained the club presidency unopposed last week. Future targets already discussed include Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich. Perez has said he intends to revive his "galactico" policy which, along with Zidane, attracted star players such as David Beckham, Brazilian striker Ronaldo and Portugal star Luis Figo to Madrid earlier in the decade.

Kaka described Perez' strategy as "an interesting sports project." "He's trying to buy other players, and I think he can make a very (attacking) team," he said. "That's behind my decision to go to this team." Kaka said he talked with Beckham about his transfer, and the England veteran told him it would be the best step for his career. "I hope to be part of this new project and help to win titles, both European and Spanish," he said. Kaka, the 2007 Fifa world player of the year, turned down a record 100m Euro transfer to Manchester City in January.

* AP