Real Madrid confirmed last night that they have signed the Brazilian forward Kaka from Milan. The 27-year-old has agreed a six-year contract, becoming the first player to join Real since Florentino Perez returned to the presidency this month.
Reports said the transfer fee was around €68m (£58m).
The player is currently on international duty with Brazil in his home country, but Real Madrid sent officials to Recife and Kaka successfully completed a medical earlier in the day. The 2007 world player of the year was preparing to hold a news conference there late last night. The official unveiling in Madrid is likely to take place at the end of the month, after the Confederations Cup in South Africa.
“We are working on building a good team, an important team, and this has only just begun,” Perez said last night.
Milan thanked Kaka for his contribution.
“Milan thanks the man Kaka and the champion Kaka for his decisive contributions to so many victories obtained in the last six years,” the Serie A club said in a statement. “His loss on the field, though serious, can be filled. It will, however, be very difficult to fill the void left by the man.”
Kaka has long been a target for Real Madrid since former president Ramon Calderon promised to sign him in his election campaign in 2006 but failed to deliver. Calderon resigned in January paving the way for Perez to come back three years after he stood down, and hewas returned unopposed.
Perez has promised to deliver a “spectacular sporting project” built around the world’s greatest players, and local media have spoken of a €300m war chest which will be used to finance a second “Galacticos era” at the Bernabeu. Having lured the likes of Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham to Real earlier in the decade, Perez’s flagship first signing on his return was Kaka. It was both a declaration of intent and a dig at his predecessor.
He has also spoken of his interest in Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribéry, the Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso and the Valencia duo of David
Villa and David Silva. New coach Manuel Pellegrini is the man tasked with blending the talent into a team capable of challenging treble-winning European champions, Barcelona.
Kaka will not face much competition in midfield, though, as it was one of Real’s weakest areas last season as they lacked flair players capable of opening up sides in big games.
Kaka’s arrival will also cheer up Real fans clamouring for a more entertaining brand of football, and who had often chanted “Where is Kaka?” at player presentations under Calderon over the last couple of years.
Kaka won the Champions League with Milan in 2007, scoring 10 times to secure the competition’s golden boot.
He scored three times in the semi-final defeat of Manchester United.
Fantasy football: Transfer record
Zinedine Zidane Juventus to Real Madrid 2001 £46m
Luis Figo Barcelona to Real Madrid 2000 £37m
Hernan Crespo Parma to Lazio 2000 £35.5m
Christian Vieri Lazio to Internazionale 1999 £32m
Denilson São Paulo to Real Betis 1998 £21.5m
Ronaldo Barcelona to Inter 1997 £19.5m
Alan Shearer Blackburn to Newcastle 1996 £15m