Ricky Kaka’s agent, Gaetano Paolillo, reveals the story behind Kaka’s shift from Milan to Real Madrid, in the lead up to the Brazilian’s 38th birthday on 22nd April. Apparently, this was a move Kaka never wanted to make.
Paolillo begins by narrating the story of Kaka’s discovery to MilanNews.it. “He was coming back from an injury, but was astonishing, scoring a goal and an assist, but could easily have had another two or three more.
“I introduced myself to his father and asked what European club Ricardo dreamed of playing for. He replied Milan. I asked for 30 days to make it happen and began pressing (then Milan CEO Adriano) Galliani, but it wasn’t easy, because they already had Manuel Rui Costa and Rivaldo in the trequartista role.”
Paolillo reveals how the star sign of Ricky Kaka proved definitive when Kaka refused Manchester City as well as when he was offered Inter:
“I even offered him to Inter at one point, but Hector Cuper didn’t know what to do with Kaka in a 4-4-2 formation. Nobody else was really interested, which I found incredible.
“In the end, (Milan lawyer Leonardo) Cantamessa even did Kaka’s astrological chart and said we had to sign him, because the stars were shining on this player. After Ariedo Braida was won over, we got Galliani on board.”
He absolves Galliani from the decision to sell Kaka to Madrid when Kaka in fact didn’t want to leave. “He never wanted to leave, and the money he earned at Real Madrid wasn’t the issue. He was loved by the fans and more than happy at Milan, but the club put him on the market and at that point Real Madrid was a good option. It wasn’t Galliani’s call either, he loved Ricky.”
Interestingly, abrief return to San Siro took place in 2013-14, before San Paulo and Orlando City. “It was natural that he felt nostalgia for Milan, because nobody wanted him to leave in the first place. We kept trying to get him to return from 2011 onwards, but it only happened thanks to the friendship between Galliani and Florentino Perez, who terminated the contract early by mutual consent to leave him free.”
Kaka excelled in Milan, but the club was in financial difficulties and nearly sold him to Manchester City for €100 m in 2009. So, from the looks of it, the sell was inevitable:
“Every year, Real Madrid would ask if Kaka was available, but Milan had always considered him off the market and he wanted to stay too. That was the plan, anyway.
“After his last game with Milan in Florence in 2009, he left for international duty and only took a rucksack. He said we’d meet back at the Malpensa Airport in a month, but Milan sold Ricky to Real Madrid when he was in Brazil.”