Ricky Kaka Was Happy at Milan, says Agent Gaetano Paolillo


22nd April is Brazilian footballer Ricky Kaka’s 38th birthday, and his agent Gaetano Paolillo reveals how he never wanted to leave Milan for Real Madrid.

“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,” Paolillo told MilanNews.it about discovering Kaka. Paolillo, of course, is the one who spotted a young Brazilian who played for San Paulo in May 2003:

“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 says that the star sign of the 38-yeard-old proved definitive: Kaka refused Manchester City, and 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.”

Kaka excelled in Milan, but the club was in financial difficulties and nearly sold him to Manchester City for €100 m in 2009. He stuck to Milan, even as Madrid seemed to become a more and more viable option back then:

“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.”

Finally, it happened, says Paolillo: “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.

“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.”

A brief 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.”








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