Shevchenko recalls being left ‘openmouthed’ by Kaka: “Good news from another planet”

By Oliver Fisher -

Andriy Shevchenko has revealed that the arrival of Ricardo Kaka at AC Milan left the squad ‘openmouthed’ once they saw what he could do in training.

Kaká made his professional club debut at age 18 for São Paulo in Brazil and it didn’t take long for him to impress top European clubs as he scored 23 times in 58 games, earning a move to Milan in 2003 when he was 20.

The attacking midfielder helped Milan win the Serie A title in his first season as well as the 2006–07 Champions League, in which was the tournament’s top goal scorer. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year, the 2007 Ballon d’Or and the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year off the back of that before leaving for Real Madrid.

In his new book ‘My Life, My Football’, which you can buy here, Shevchenko shared his recollection of when Kaka arrived at Milanello and the initial impact he made on the squad, plus what it was like playing with him in the biggest games.

“Our whole state of mind was partially soothed, cured and in the end transformed by the arrival of Kaka, who had officially signed that summer. Good news from another planet – there was life beyond earth after all,” Sheva began.

“Right from the very first training session, he left us openmouthed. A 21-year-old Brazilian kid who did everything right. You watched him and couldn’t believe your eyes. He never made a mistake. He had the inspiration, the class, the strength, the vision.

“For my type of game, it was an incredible gift to be able to count on a No.10 with his characteristics. He would take the ball between the lines and carry it at high speed for 20 or 30 metres, right up to the edge of the area.

“Then he’d stop and look at me while the opposition defenders converged on him. At that point, he would pass me the ball, leaving me rather handily placed in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He saw football like few others, he could read its rhythms and turn them in our favour.

“He turned up at Milanello already able to speak Italian. A great lad, very religious, well brought up. He was intelligent and alert, from a good family.”

Tags AC Milan Andriy Shevchenko Ricardo Kaka


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