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Sambafoot Sunday: Kaká Braces Himself for Future Challenges

Reuters
Kaká's chances of being part of the 2014 Brazil squad look slim, but that he's even asking the question of Scolari is testament to his determination.

Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...

Amidst rumours of a future move to MLS, AC Milan’s experienced Brazilian midfielder Kaká reminded the team of his worth with two well taken goals against Chievo.

The game was Kaká’s 300th appearance for the club he joined from São Paulo back in 2003, and he’s currently on his second stint with the Rossoneri, having spent six seasons at the San Siro before joining Real Madrid in 2009.

The two goals demonstrated the evolution of Kaká’s natural gifts: The intelligence and movement off the last man to steal into the six yard box behind an offside trap; the skill, control, and composure to take the ball on the run and finish for his first goal; and then the technique to curl a shot around a helpless goal-keeper from the corner of the area for his second.

As a player whose athleticism and drive from midfield defined his early career, he’s had to fine tune certain parts of his game in order to compensate for the injuries he’s suffered. The true stars of football can still shine, even when they lose some physical aspects of their play.

These injuries, which hampered his career at Real Madrid, may have prevented him becoming an even greater force in the history of World Football, but in typical fashion Kaká drew strength from this period of difficulty. Some doctors even feared his career might be over. Marc Martens, the doctor who operated on his knee after the World Cup in 2010, stated:

''It could have finished his career because it's a very serious injury - it could have destroyed him, but thank God he has had the operation at the crucial moment and everything has turned out wonderfully.''

Despite these set-backs, you can still see what he brings to a team on the pitch, but you also get the impression that he’s a player who can unite a team off it. The way his team-mates celebrate with him after goals, coupled with his comments after the game against Chievo, show a maturity and leadership which is vital when things don’t go your way. He said:

“Football is wonderful and painful precisely because it changes so quickly. I said last week our locker room was not divided and people could see that tonight.”

He’s the sort of player who’s appreciated by players and managers alike, and no doubt Clarence Seedorf is glad to have him around during this difficult period at Milan.

A recent Sambafoot Sunday article spoke of the camaraderie within the Brazil squad, and an experienced, well respected head such as Kaká’s would only add to this.

Whilst recent squad selections suggest that he’s unlikely to take part in the 2014 World Cup, continued good performances for his club will make Luiz Felipe Scolari think twice when naming his final twenty-three players.

Kaká has a World Cup winners medal from Brazil’s 2002 triumph in Japan, but the then 20-year-old only played a few minutes in this tournament. Twelve years later he’d like nothing more than to go to a World Cup on home soil as a dressing room leader, even if he only plays a similar amount of minutes.

As for club football, there are strong rumours that his future lies in the MLS, and stories have emerged linking him with Orlando City who will be part of the MLS expansion in 2015 along with New York City.

It’s feasible that he could move to either of these clubs, and his participation in an ever improving league as he enters his mid thirties would be testament to his determination to recover from those career threatening knee troubles.

 
 

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