Can Kaka Build On Villarreal Showing?
Brazilian Kaka has been the subject of criticism due to his performances which can be described as inconsistent at best. There are a number of issues to be considered before judging whether Kaka’s season has been a failure or a relative success.
In terms of the team’s results, Real Madrid are closing in on Barcelona in the league standings while Los Galacticos are still in the Champions League albeit trailing 1-0 from the first-leg against Lyon. The return leg will be in Spain and the players are more than capable of overturning the result considering the firepower at the coach’s disposal.
Kaka has clearly been overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo who is scoring regularly and having a phenomenal campaign despite a stop-start season interrupted by both injury and suspension. The Portuguese star has scored at will and appears to have settled well in Madrid. On the other hand, Kaka has found it more difficult to adjust to life in Spain and to playing with the Spanish giants. Ronaldo did cost much more than Kaka but the Brazilian’s price was still astronomical by all means. The large sum paid for his services as well as having to keep up with some of the club’s other high performers have definitely weighed heavily on the Brazilian’s shoulders.
He has shown glimpses of brilliance in bursts but he has yet to perform on a consistent basis. While in Milan the team’s strategy was built to highlight his set of skills, the same cannot be said in the case of Real Madrid where other stars such as Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain must all be accommodated. Kaka came under fire after the Lyon defeat in Europe but he rightfully said the whole squad ought to shoulder the blame and not just him. He was justified because he is not the premier star (Ronaldo is) in the club nor is he one of just two stars. Real is witnessing the second Los Galacticos era after the first one which was punctuated by Zinedine Zidane’s winning volley in the Champions League final.
Against Villarreal Kaka not only scored twice but also showed the willingness to work hard, go on incisive runs and create some scoring opportunities for others. Will his latest showing signal the start of Kaka’s return to form or will it be just another limited glimpse of his abilities? It is quite early to judge with the season still loaded with a congested fixture list and the Madrid giants still in with a big chance to qualify to the next round in Europe.
Either way Real did not lose because in terms of advertising and sales, the club made a smart move considering the number of tickets sold, the number of Kaka shirts bought by fans and the prestige as well as attention afforded to the squad due to the elite names within its ranks. To put things in better perspective, Los Galacticos are still in the running for two titles so how can the move for Kaka be deemed a failure? At least for now, it is too early to pass judgment but the Brazilian wizard certainly needs to lift his performances up another notch to be considered a success on the individual level.