Kaka revels in Milan return

Kaka revels in Milan return
Brazil's Kaka adds another international goal to his already-glowing resume.

Kaka may have returned to AC Milan four years older and wiser, but he believes he still has a lot to learn from the next generation of Rossoneri stars. The Brazil forward is finally back at the San Siro after four disappointing years with Real Madrid, where he was unable to make the most of a 70 million euro ($117m) move.

Despite forming part of Jose Mourinho's La Liga-winning side last year, Kaka made fewer than 100 league appearances for the capital club and, after announcing his decision to leave Spain last week, he arrived in Milan on a free transfer on Monday.

Kaka, now 31, remains a folk hero among Rossoneri fans and players alike, having been the prodigious focal point of a Scudetto win in 2004 before firing Milan towards the Champions League trophy in 2007.

There was a marked contrast between the rapturous reception that greeted him in Milan this week and the quiet optimism that greeted his 8.5m-euro arrival from Sao Paolo 10 years ago but, for Kaka, little has changed.

"It's really nice to be back," he said.

"Seeing all the people at Milanello again made me feel like I'd never been away.

"I've learnt a lot from players with more experience than me and now it's up to me to take on the role of an expert.

"I don't know how many more seasons I will last, but I want to help these guys out and learn from them as well."

Kaka contributed five goals and nine assists as Mourinho clinched the Spanish title last year, before slipping steadily out of the Portuguese's first-team plans.

But it was the intensive recruitment in his preferred position behind the striker under new coach Carlo Ancelotti - with Isco, Asier Illarramendi and world-record signing Gareth Bale all arriving at the Bernabeu - that finally convinced him his days in Spain were numbered.

He added: "It wasn't Mourinho's fault that I didn't get to play. It's the fact I never had any continuity during my four years with Real.

"Real have some very specific plans for the team and the space afforded to me was growing smaller and smaller, so I agreed on my departure with Ancelotti.

"Real are a great club and I'm happy to have been part of their history, but I lost the joy of playing football a bit there.

"This is the right place for me."

Kaka is expected to slot straight into the creative role left vacant by Kevin-Prince Boateng, who had left for Schalke.

The 2007 Ballon d'Or winner and 87-time Brazil international is especially keen to form a connection with the prolific Mario Balotelli, who has already scored 14 goals in his short time with the club.

"Mario's a great player and I think I can do well alongside him, and with (Alessandro) Matri, Robinho and (Stephan) El Shaarawy," Kaka said.

"There are some great players here and some really good strikers.

"I haven't been injured for a long time, I'm in good shape and ready for this challenge.

"I'm used to Milan winning things and I think this team can do well." -PA Sport


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