REAL MADRID | KAKÁ
Kaká: "My time at Real Madrid wasn't a failure"
Speaking to Esporte Espetacular, he also heaped praise on ex-Real boss José Mourinho: "He helped me mature and I went from being a kid to being an adult."
Kaká has returned to the other side of the Atlantic at 32, after just over a decade in Europe. His best years saw him become a star at AC Milan, before he made little impact in a four-year spell at Real Madrid. Los Blancos president Florentino Pérez caused huge excitement among the club’s supporters when he sealed the signing of the Brazilian for 67 million euros in June 2009, but few now feel he lived up to the price tag.
In the player’s eyes, however, he was not a flop at the Santiago Bernabéu. “My time at Real Madrid wasn’t a failure,” he told Esporte Espetacular. “I played 120 matches, I scored 28 goals and I played an average of 30 games a season. What’s more, I won three trophies: La Liga, a Copa del Rey and a Supercopa de España.”
Before embarking on a fresh adventure at new Major League Soccer franchise Orlando City, Kaká will now spend a few months on loan at Sao Paulo, the club where he learned his trade. And he’ll face his new challenge in the MLS as a more seasoned individual, thanks in part to coaches such as José Mourinho – for whom he only has positive words.
“He was a person who helped me to grow, to be patient, to fight and to respect the coach’s decisions,” said Kaká. “I learned to respect the coach, his decisions and to do everything in my power to show him that I could play. That’s what I did during the three years that I worked with him. He helped me to mature and I went from being a kid to being an adult.”
Before returning to Sao Paulo, Kaká spent a season back at Milan, the club that witnessed the best period of his career. During his second stint at the San Siro, he did “everything” possible to win a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad for World Cup 2014. “I did everything I could in my decisions and in my dedication to be in the final squad for the World Cup, but the final decision is the coach’s,” he said. “I did everything I could and that’s why I have no feelings of frustration about that.”
With Scolari departing as Brazil boss and Dunga returning to the post, Kaká is hopeful of a comeback to the fold under the Seleçao's 1994 World Cup-winning captain, who made him a fixture during his previous period as international coach. For the moment, however, he isn’t getting ahead of himself: “I want to play well and get results at Sao Paulo. I want to do well at Sao Paulo and get the rewards if I perform well.”