Kaka ready to break old boys' hearts

Brazilian has no mercy for former side Milan who he faces for first time tonight

The Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra and defender Alvaro Arbeloa have shaken off injuries and should be available for tonight's Champions League Group C match against Milan, coach Manuel Pellegrini said yesterday.

Diarra was unable to train with the squad on Monday after picking up a knock in La Liga action at the weekend and Arbeloa had been suffering from a knee problem but Pellegrini has included both in his squad for the match at the Bernabeu.

However, midfielder Guti is still not at full fitness and misses out, Pellegrini added. "Guti has an ankle problem that is preventing him from being at 100 percent," the Chilean said. "Arbeloa is in good condition despite being still in the recovery phase and 'Lass' has no problems."

Real's Kaka will be playing against his former club for the first time since he joined from Milan for around €67m (£61m) in the close season. "For me it's the first time in my career that I will play against an ex-club," the Brazilian said. "It's a new thing for me but I am professional and now I play for Real Madrid and I will give my all."

Real top Group C with two wins out of two and Milan are in third after last month's shock 1-0 home defeat by FC Zurich. The Spaniards' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo is sidelined with an ankle injury and midfielder Fernando Gago, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and defender Christoph Metzelder are all out of action with various ailments.

Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari and midfielder Gennaro Gattuso have been ruled out with thigh and knee injuries respectively. They have struggled under coach Leonardo who took over in the summer after Carlo Ancelotti left for Stamford Bridge, with their slow pace of play a particular problem, although Sunday's 2-1 win over Roma has eased the pressure.

Real defender Raul Albiol believes Milan's poor form in Serie A this season would be irrelevant once the two European heavyweights take to the Bernabeu pitch. "It's true that Milan are having a difficult time in their domestic league but are a great team and they always show their best face in the Champions League," Albiol said.

"They have a lot of experience in the competition and very good players and will be extremely tough opponents. We are playing at home in front of a full house and we want to show what level we have reached."

Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, 36, is largely being kept back from Serie A action in order to use his experience in Europe but there are doubts over the formation with Leonardo switching between 4-3-1-2, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 in recent games. "All teams have problems, we must not believe that Milan have more problems than others," Leonardo said. "If we manage to express ourselves at our best, we will be able to do much better than what we have done so far."

Brazilian Ronaldinho, still nowhere near the form he showed at Barcelona despite an improvement against Roma, will be keen to prove to the Madrid public that he can still perform. In the 2005-06 season, he produced a sublime performance at the Bernabeu to lead Barça to a 3-0 victory, scoring two stunning solo goals in a display that brought the home crowd to their feet. "It's a stadium in which I have done some really beautiful things but now I am, and we are, in a different situation," he said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition