By Alfie Green
Yet again, Real Madrid have shown themselves to be a cut above the rest of us. Unlike the average customer, the Spanish giants seem to be allowed to return a product even if they’ve broken it. Fresh reports streaming across the Continent indicate that Real Madrid and AC Milan are reaching the final stages of talks that would see the return of the once bright Brazilian back four years and a few thousand miles east to Milan.
Around 2009, as the noughties geared up for their last swan song before South Africa and the world cup, there were three players that looked set to take the world by storm. Cristiano Ronaldo was blazing a trail through the Premier League table and scoring records with an astonishing 31 league goals, Lionel Messi had surpassed his world-class teammates and was already dominating La Liga at the age of 22, and Kaka (or Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite for want of a longer name), well Manchester City had already made a bid exceeding £100 million, for the Brazillian apparently too big for Italy. It was Real Madrid whose net caught though.
The other two have gone on to dominate world football, sharing between them each of the last three Champion’s League finals, almost every player of the year award going (with Ronaldo admittedly getting the juniour share here) and -perhaps less harmoniously- the La Liga title. In their shadow, Kaka has fallen from grace and his £70million pricetag to perform one of the most impressive vanishing acts in recent footballing history. You only have to look at the facts to realise that the Bernabeu has killed Kaka- with the Brazilian scoring only 26 goals in the last four seasons at Madrid compared to the 72 in the last four years at Milan.
Unfortunately this vanishing act is a surprisingly regular trick for recent so called ‘galacticos’ at a club as immense as Real Madrid. David Beckham, (I’m going to say it) perhaps the best talent of this generation of English players, plummeted in quality after moving to Spain. The hugely exciting Mesut Ozil who wowed us at the 2010 World Cup and decimated England has similarly been consumed by the void of excess Euros and talent in Madrid. Even the Special One, Jose Mourinho, has made a mere smidgen of difference to the successes of Real Madrid, categorically failing (in comparison with his monolithic success at Chelsea and Inter Milan) to topple the mighty Barcelona- with only one La Liga trophy to his name since taking the reins. Even Kaka’s co-wonderkid, Cristiano Ronaldo, has arguably failed to make the leaps and bounds seen at Man Utd, staying fixedly in the shadow of Lionel Messi in recent Spanish club clashes. The Bernabeu is looking increasingly like an extremely well-paid retirement home for the heroes of the game.
And so we stand again at the obvious demise of a wonderful talent, this time with a £70million pound milestone round his neck. European newspapers Marcia and L’Equipe have already reported on official talks between AC Milan and Real Madrid. The only thing standing between Kaka and the escape from this dismal four year nightmare is a disagreement over either loaning to the summer and then sealing the deal (for AC Milan) or a straight sell off (Madrid) for an as of yet undisclosed fee that can only speculated at as pretty certainly beneath the £70million Milan made out of the first round. Let’s hope Kaka escapes in time.