Real Madrid news

Madrid planning to retain Kaka

July 12, 2013
By ESPN staff

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told Gol Caracol de Colombia that Kaka is still “one of the greats of the game” and is optimistic Carlo Ancelotti can reignite the player's career.

Kaka
GettyImagesKaka is set to remain at Real Madrid.

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Kaka, 31, arrived at the Bernabeu for €62 million in 2009, but the Brazilian has been unable to recapture the form he showed at AC Milan as injuries and limited playing time have restricted his impact.

He has regularly been linked with a move away from Madrid, with his high wages thought to be cause for concern, but the appointment of Ancelotti, his former Milan coach, appears to have granted the former Ballon d’Or winner another chance to prove his worth.

“Kaka is a phenomenon, but he got injured in the last World Cup and had to have an operation on his knee,” Perez said. “Then Ozil arrived and took his place in the team from him, but he is still one of the greats of the game. He is the second most followed footballer on Twitter, after Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He is charming and excites the fans. I'm optimistic that, under Ancelotti, who knows him very well, he can be the same magical Kaka again that we signed.”

For the most part, though, there has been a notable shift towards youth for Madrid this summer, with the signing of Asier Illarramendi on Friday following deals for Isco, Casemiro and Dani Carvajal.

“We have signed young players that are hungry to achieve and that's vital so that our established players don't get too comfortable,” Perez said. “That mix of youth and experience will raise the team's quality.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.