Ronaldo hails return of Kaka

Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed the return to action of team-mate Kaka as Real Madrid's two biggest summer signings were able to start only their second league match together since September against Real Mallorca last night.

Kaka had been absent since November's defeat to Barcelona due to injury but he began against Mallorca and played 68 minutes of the 2-0 win before being replaced by Karim Benzema.

Ronaldo, who missed two months of action due to an ankle injury earlier in the season, said of the Brazil star: "He's returned after a long time out and he looked very good to me.

"I'm happy with his return, because he's a tremendous player who is going to help us a lot."

Injuries have limited the duo, costing £80million and £56million respectively, to just one league appearance together since September, when they both played in the defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Pellegrini said during Saturday's pre-match press conference that Kaka would not be able to last the full 90 minutes, but the former AC Milan playmaker was just pleased to get back on the pitch without experiencing any problems.

"I was really keen to play and not feel a thing. I'm happy because I feel fully recovered. Now I have to play competitively and gain confidence to be able to give my best," Kaka said.

Although neither Kaka nor Ronaldo were able to get on the scoresheet, they played their part as Madrid made it nine home wins out of nine this season at a snow-covered Bernabeu last night.

The victory also kept Madrid within two points of leaders Barca, who beat Tenerife 5-0 later in the evening.

Ronaldo said of his side's performance against a Mallorca side who had started the weekend in fourth place: "The important thing is to win...even when it's cold. Hopefully we will continue like that until the end of the season.

"At home it's crucial to pick up wins. Until now we've won every game we've played here and that's how we must continue until the end. We have to continue being competitive, as we have until now."

Kaka added on his club's website: "In the end we've made the game easy. We've not made the most of our chances and we could have scored more goals, but the important thing is that we are creating a lot of chances.

"We have to keep the pressure on Barcelona and hope that some team can beat them, but the season is very long."

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