Ricky Kaká has given an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of tomorrow’s Derby della Madonnina, also discussing his plans for the future.
Milan take on Inter at Stadio San Siro for the second Derby della Madonnina of the season. The Nerazzurri are clear favorites as they are fighting for the Scudetto, while the Rossoneri aren’t even in the Europa League zone at the moment.
Ahead of the game, GdS’ Alessandra Bocci conducted an interview with Kaká, who took part in many derbies and even scored his first Milan goal in one (October 5, 2003): “It gives you incredible confidence. Gattuso’s left-foot cross, I headed the ball… a rarity for me.”
Kaka is now studying to become a director, he has just finished a session in Paris of the UEFA course called MIP (Master for International Players). Seven weeks of course spread over a year and a half to prepare the former great players for their new careers. “They give us a broader view of the football industry and the sports industry in general. With me there are Drogba, Arshavin, Malouda, Balzaretti and Julio Cesar, it’s a nice class.”
Julio means Inter, therefore Derby: your favorite one?
“The Champions League one. It’s always said that the Derby is a separate game. In the Champions League it’s even more unique.”
In your day there were many Brazilians at Milan, now Paquetá is alone and they said that he suffers from homesickness…
“There were seven Brazilians on the team, but also many other people who helped me. Galliani and Braida, Berlusconi who allowed me to get the best results of my career, Costacurta who helped me with the Italian, Borriello who was my age, so it was easy to share things… I took something from everyone.”
Paquetá is always under discussion. What does he need?
“He must find self-confidence. Last year went well, but the second year is hard, I know from experience. The others begin to understand you, it’s more difficult. He must consider his qualities, in a strong team he can be an important player.”
They called him too Brazilian…
“Well, if one takes a Brazilian then he has to know what kind of player he is. Paquetá must adapt a bit to Italian football, but must not lose his football identity. He must remain creative, because this is us, but he must also be practical. If he does a double step-over, he must do it towards the goal. If he tries dribbling, it must have some use.”
Apparently he hasn’t found the right position yet…
“Position on the pitch is important, but the most important thing is to bring out the willingness. I think he can be a good mezz’ala, in Brazil he plays on the right. I think Paquetá should try to mix his qualities and instinct with the needs of Italian football.”
There is a significant gap between Inter and Milan: what derby do you expect?
“A derby that allows Milan to really turn around. Such matches can give a big boost. San Siro is a wonderful spectacle.”
Do you know that soon it will be gone?
“I hope they keep at least some architectural elements. I understand that football is a business, that in stadiums many things must be done and you can’t stop at feeling, but something has to stay. The Maracanã has changed its face many teams and it is no longer the same thing. There’s still history inside, but it’s not the same.”
How does this Milan look so different from yours?
“Eras change, there have been many economic and management problems. I see that the standings has improved, but above all I hope that the ownerships of Milan and Inter will start investing again, as much as needed, to get back to the top. The time is now: Inter and Milan are historic teams, Milano is a beautiful city, Italy is a wonderful country. It makes me sad not to find the Milanese in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. I believe that a virtuous circle should be restarted: with the Champions League earnings, you can get great players and return to the top.”
There is also the obstacle of the Financial Fair Play that is often mentioned by the Milan management…
“I realize it, but if you don’t invest enough then you can’t have a quality team, you don’t qualify for the most important tournament and you only have the vicious circle. It’s a dog that bites its tail.”
Speaking of great players, how does it feel to see Ibrahimović, who is a year older than you, still on the pitch?
“It is wonderful to see him having fun. As for the age, with physiotherapy and the other tools we have today you can go on longer. It’s enough to be motivated.”
Your former partner Cristiano Ronaldo is a specialist in this field…
“Exactly. He truly has infinite hunger. With all he’s won, it would be human to change attitudes… it’s impressive how motivated he still it.”
You were no longer…
“In the last year in Orlando, I was looking for just this: to understand if it was right to continue or not. But at a certain point I realized that, since I was beginning to question myself, it was already done: it was time to stop. And I made the right choice, I don’t miss the pitch and I’ve never regretted it.”
Have you decided what you would like to do when you grow up?
“Not being a coach. I finished the course in Brazil, now I’m trying to deepen my knowledge. I’d like to be a director, in many years maybe a President. Not a coach or a sporting director, the life of the coach is too complicated. Right now being close to my children is the most important thing. Then who knows, maybe in 5-10 years I’ll change my mind.”
Some time ago there was talk of your return to Milan, in the staff. If they called you now, what would you answer?
“The desire to return is great, the time is not the right one. I’d like to work with Maldini and Boban, help the club and above all learn, but it’s not the time to leave Brazil. For now I’m happy to follow the Derby from afar.”
“Ibra scores and then hope for the best…”