Kaka to Madrid, Ronaldinho to Milan, Iniesta on the left for Barcelona – A Perfect Future?

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

Written by Bence Martha. The author is a Hungarian blogger. He translated this post from Hungarian to English and I’m publishing it intact – kudos to you if you can figure out my favourite sentence from this article.

Let’s suppose Kaká was serious when he came up with the possibility of moving to Spain after Milan had failed to recover from the goal-distressed period against Celtic, which had just begun to be kind of embarrassing for the defending CL champion (before finally they broke through against Lazio last week). Kaká’s move would most certainly be a rock into a middle of still water and despite the transactions strange and almost impossible nature it surely raises thoughts in the world of football.

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, aka Kaka is the best football player in the world. With his remarkable elegancy and intelligent contribution to his team’s offense he grew to be an indespensable link between the security-packed Milan midfield and the forward. Never dives, never argues, never tackles with the intention to kill (leaves it to his mates, who there are!) with one word, he behaves like a gentleman on and off the pitch. He was named player of the year by FIFPro and stands a good chance to receive the same acknowledgement from more recognized places this year. Kaká thus is the 8.5 million Euro apple of Milan’s eye worth God knows how much now (we just might get to know exactly if this post proves not to be just a useless riding of an idea) no wonder most of you might ridicule even the possibility of his departure —and arrival in Madrid.

If the match of Real and Kaká is not meant to be then I don’t know what is. Kaká was born to play in the Bernabeu he is everything that famous white jersey represents being as Royal on the pitch as the club itself. The fact that Real is one of the few clubs able to put up the money for his transfer in the country named by the player also supports our storyline along with our suspicion that the other Spanish giant is the only club in the world that as for the moment does not need Kaká. I am not trying to suggest that Barca-societés wouldn’t swap Deco without a second of hesitation but if there’s a problem with Barcelona’s lineup (we are convinced there isn’t, anyway) it is not the playmaker’s position as the Catalans have a squad so packed with players of the highest standard as far as passing and positioning are concerned that Kaká’s genius will not have enough space and attention to shine. In Barcelona he would be one of the great players, in Madrid the one to hold the flag high. The one the team is built around, slows down, speeds up, assists and scores — roughly what he does now for Milan. However, Barca would also have their share in his move…

Make it a 4-4-2 and you have an excellent playmaker on the upper corner of the Madrid diamond, make it a 4-3-1-2 and you have a trequartista to assist your strikers and score tones of goals himself (Milan’s 4-3-2-1 Christmas-tree-formation is based on his constant presence in front of the goal) but as I see the coming of Kaká would provoke drastic changes in order to make the best out of the young Brazilian’s skills and this would require the sacrifice of the past ten year’s Real-icon, Raul. The possible 4-2-3-1 lineup (Guti, Diarra — Robinho, Kaká, Sneijder — Van Nistelrooy) does scare the hell out of all future opponents — deservedly. And if not more they would at least be worthy opponents of Barca, where pass/sec index reaches sky-high figures.

And what is with Milan then? They have never been blighters (who would, backed by Berlusconi?!) they don’t need the money as badly to sell the player who finally steered them onto the top of European football but could they hold him back if he wanted to go? What’s more, if there’s a chance for a swap for the better (hm… definitely not worse, I reckon)? Because who would deny that Barca is ready to let Ronaldinho go for a definite amount of money, which one can always use if one’s favorite free-time activity is buying world class players. Rijkaard is in trouble: Iniesta may look like an immature 14-year-old but with the absence of Ronaldinho he made his statement loud and clear: here I am! The Brazil has been seeking his previous form for almost two seasons now and voices stating he needs to change to regain it are getting louder and louder. Rijkaard would even whisper a grazie to Milan to take the burden of having Ronaldinho play when he is so out of form off his shoulders. Nevertheless, Ronnie would surely have a new challenge in a new atmosphere along with new world-class mates and maybe a raised pocket money in Milan, presently the ruling football city of Europe.

Close your eyes now and try to imagine a Kakáless Milan. Does not look good, does it? Now mix and stir, take in and out, push and pull and here you go: Dida – Oddo, Nesta, Kaladze, Jankulovski — Gattuso, Emerson — Ronaldinho-Seedorf-Pirlo — Ronaldo. Do you have the efficient defense that you can’t even imagine Milan without? You surely do. Do you have the offense with an excellent passing rate and a chip of brilliance? Hell you do! Remember Seedorf playing in the middle (not in Real, that was ages ago) but vs Siena when almost the entire starting lineup was missing and Seedorf had the baton in his hand? The 1-1 does not suggest he did well but I assure you he was like a 20-year-old: ran, passed, tackled, assisted, shot. With Ronaldinho on his left and Pirlo on his right that would be a deadly attacking force behind Ronaldo (should he ever recover) or Inzaghi, not to mention Pato. Pirlo, by the way may be as grey as a drape of a Volvo but (as we saw it eg. against Liverpool) is able to run 12 kms/match and shoot the hair out of Carragher’s nose from 40 meters while giving Gerrard’s balls a massage with one hand and sweeping unruly tufts from his sight with the other. So, how does Milan look like now? Better, isn’t it? Give me that: they’re no worse…

And what about Barcelona? Would you accept the Catalans to send their team on with the usual 4-3-3 with Iniesta on the left? Xavi and Touré controlls midfield, Deco steps back to collect balls and send Messi and Iniesta on the attack or directly launches Henry from the offside-line. If required, Iniesta could step back to the middle and play defensive midfield anytime, thus giving Barcelona a wider variety of tactical formations then with an unquestionably unique Brazil up front, who has never made a sliding challenge in his life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to put Ronaldinho down as he is the one and only but the time has come for him to move on — like he moved from Paris SG when that time had come.

All’s well that ends well, we have three parties satisfied with their situation, and all we, supporters have to do is get prepared for the most amazing rivalries in the history of Spanish and Italian football and see how these guys fit into their new milieu. Perfectly, I would say.

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

The Heart of Football
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