Serie A news

Kaka excited by Mario Balotelli link-up

September 3, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Kaka was given a hero's welcome after signing a two-year contract with AC Milan on Monday, and the Brazilian is already looking forward to the "immense joy" of playing alongside Mario Balotelli.

• Duarte: Kaka dreams of turning back clock
• Paul: Welcome home, Kaka!

Kaka, who was named World Player of the Year in 2007, made his long-awaited return to the Rossoneri on transfer deadline day, saying he had "returned home" after four "difficult years" with Real Madrid. Milan had already tried twice to lure the Brazilian back, and so it was a case of third time lucky for him, and for the fans.

Several hundred blocked the road outside Milan’s headquarters in Via Turati, desperate to catch a glimpse of their former and new idol, who will wear the No. 22 shirt.

"Milan is ideal for me and in the past few days, I’ve dreamt of hearing the fans singing my name inside the San Siro," Kaka told Milan Channel.

The 31-year-old will have to wait almost three weeks for that, when Milan host Napoli in what was already a mouth-watering clash even before his return was announced. It is now a game not to be missed.

"I’ve always played with great champions here," continued Kaka, who won one Scudetto and the Champions League in his previous spell in a red and black shirt. "Before it was Pippo Inzaghi, and now it’s Balotelli. I hope to experience immense joy with Mario.

"I was really sad to leave here, but now the delight at returning is twice as strong."

Not only will Kaka form what looks set to be a formidable partnership with Balotelli, but Stephan El Shaarawy cannot wait to get onto the field alongside a player he always looked up to. "He’s my idol," he told reporters after arriving in Florence for international duty with Italy. "It’s a dream come true for me to play with Kaka. I’m delighted."

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