Kaka embroiled in club versus country accusations

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid’s Brazilian ace Kaka has voiced his unhappiness at critics doubting the severity of the groin injury which kept him sidelined for six weeks.

The 28-year-old returned in style to net a late winner in a 2-1 victory at Real Zaragoza, having been annoyed by talk that he was putting country before club in his recovery.

The South American said: "I'm very happy, it's been a very special night for me after many criticisms. The best answer is on the pitch.

“I've spent many years in the world of football, but the worst is that they doubt my injury. I only ask that the fans don't doubt my injury.

“I've felt very sad recently for the things that have been said about me. It's not true that I refused to take medication, delaying my recovery, because I've taken medication to play in this game.

“Also, it's not true I was thinking of Brazil and the World Cup. Right now I'm focused on Madrid.

“I'm much better, but I still have to continue working. I had 15 or 20 minutes against Zaragoza and little by little I'm improving my fitness.”

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola admitted that his side had lacked focus in a 3-1 win at lowly Xerez which kept them one point clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Goals from Jeffren Suarez, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured victory, with Guardiola aware that some of his players had one eye on the midweek Champions League showdown with Internazionale.

He commented: “It was a dangerous game, because however much you prepare tactically, your mind is on last Tuesday's match and the one we will play on Wednesday against Inter.

“I had a lot of respect for this game because I played a lot of these as a player and I know how hard they are.

“We played thinking about Inter and it was inevitable because it's just so important for us.

“We have come from winning six titles and there is a sensation that if we don't win the double this season, we won't have achieved anything.”