Kaka sets sights on toppling Barcelona

Kaka is confident Real Madrid are building a squad capable of knocking Barcelona off their throne next season.

The Brazil superstar was last night unveiled as Madrid's first recruit of what could be a busy summer following the return of Florentino Perez to the club presidency at the start of June.

Perez promised a "spectacular project" to get fallen giants Madrid back to top of the football tree both in Spain and Europe, and he has wasted no time trying to fulfil that pledge.

Aside from the signing of Kaka for a reported price tag of around £56m, Madrid have also finalised a deal with Manchester United that will see Cristiano Ronaldo move to Spain for a world-record £80m.

Valencia centre-back Raul Albiol has also been snapped up for a fee believed to be around £13m while the likes of Franck Ribery, David Villa and Xabi Alonso are regularly being linked with Madrid in the media.

Even if Madrid do not bring in any more players they already look set to have much more quality than last season, when they could only watch on in envy as arch rivals Barca claimed an unprecedented treble of Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League.

Pep Guardiola's side are again likely to be the team to beat next season, but Kaka feels Madrid can give the Catalan outfit a run for their money.

When asked following his presentation if he thought Madrid could challenge Barca, Kaka said: "Yes. That's what Florentino Perez's sporting project is for, to beat Barcelona next season.

"Their three titles are deserved, but Real Madrid are going to be a major team next season, both in Europe and in Spain."

The 27-year-old former FIFA World Player of the Year admitted speaking to Perez about his plans for Madrid helped persuade him to make the move to the Bernabeu.

"When I spoke to the president he showed us his sporting project, and it influenced my decision a lot," explained Kaka, who had attracted the interest of other clubs, including wealthy English outfits Chelsea and Manchester City.

"He's a winner and everything he wants is with this in mind.

"I asked him if he could do everything that he said, and he has shown that he can. It's a great privilege to form part of great teams. I've been fortunate to play with great players, and I'm now going to continue doing the same."

Kaka knows it is not enough just to have a host of talented individuals at the club though, insisting hard work is what separates the haves from the have-nots.

"My experience in football has told me that talent alone is not enough," said Kaka, who will be aiming to take Madrid past the last-16 stage of the Champions League for the first time in six years next season.

"I've met players with a lot of talent who have not been successful, and others with less talent who have been champions.

"It's something else to have a team of players with talent who sacrifice themselves to achieve the same aim."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis