When Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite (commonly known as Kaka) announced that he was returning to AC Milan, all the fans of the Italian club were happy to see their ”son” coming back home. After five difficult seasons at Real Madrid, Kaka was happy to be back home and ready to play his best football again. Two months after his return in Series A, the Brazilian is still struggling to make an impact and looks nothing like the player that won the Ballon d’Or in 2007.
Kaka’s return is very reminiscent of Andriy Shevchenko‘s which was a complete disaster. The Ukrainian striker, who had won the Ballon d’Or too in 2004 before moving to Chelsea in 2006 was loaned to Milan in 2008 but Shevchenko scored only twice in 26 appearances and was sent back to Chelsea at the end of the season. Kaka seems to be following the same route at the moment. The Brazilian midfielder has featured only four times since his return starting only two of those games. He is yet to play a full game this season and his fitness is being questioned.
At 31 years old and after many injuries that undermined his career at Real Madrid, Kaka has lost some of his pace and Milan fans (if they were reasonable) shouldn’t have expected to see the same player. Without the pace that allowed him to glide away from opponents so easily, he clearly isn’t as big of a threat as he was before. However, he still has an eye for passing as he proved it on Wednesday against Barcelona in the Champion’s League with a superb assist for Robinho.
Kaka’s comeback was probably motivated by the fact that at Milan he will be an important player again for his team, unlike at Real Madrid where he was completely overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo. At Milan, fans have always loved and supported him even during tough times. At Madrid, he was often booed for his poor performances.
”I am very happy to be back at Milan. I can’t wait to play at San Siro again and feel the same emotions from before. I will be wearing the jersey N0 22 again.” Kaka told Sky Italia. Indeed, he’s wearing the same jersey number he had before leaving, playing for the same club, in the same stadium and some fans feel the same emotions but he’s unfortunately not the same player as he was before.