Agent Gaetano Paolillo reveals how the sign of the zodiac of Ricky Kaka proved decisive, refused Manchester City, offered Inter, and never wanted to go away Milan for Real Madrid.
The young Brazilian, Kaka, who was spotted by Paolillo during the game for San Paulo in May 2003 turns 38 today.
“He was returning from an injury, but was amazed, scoring a goal and an assist, but could easily have had another two or three more,” Paolillo told MilanNews.it.
“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 form it happen and commenced pressing (then Milan CEO Adriano) Galliani, but it wasn’t easy, because they already had Manuel Rui Costa and Rivaldo within the trequartista role.
“I even offered him to Inter at one point, but Hector Cuper didn’t know what to try to to with Kaka during a 4-4-2 formation. Nobody else was fascinated, which I found phenomenal.
“In the top, (Milan lawyer Leonardo) Cantamessa even did Kaka’s astrological chart and said we had to sign him because the celebs 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.
“Every year, Real Madrid would ask if Kaka was available, but Milan had always considered him off the market and he wanted to remain too. That was the plan, anyway.
“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 for a month, but Milan sold Ricky to Real Madrid when he was in Brazil.
“He never wanted to go away, and therefore the money he earned at Real Madrid wasn’t the difficulty. He was loved by the fans and quite happy in Milan, but the club put him on the market and at that time Real Madrid was an honest option. It wasn’t Galliani’s call either, he loved Ricky.”
A brief return to San Siro happened in 2013-14, before San Paulo and Orlando City.
“It was natural that he felt nostalgia for Milan, because nobody wanted him to go away within the first place. We kept trying to urge him to return from 2011 onwards, but it only happened because of the friendship between Galliani and Florentino Perez, who terminated the contract early by mutual consent to go away him free.”