Power of prayer keeps Kaka in Milan

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The Independent Online

Kaka has revealed he prayed to God to help him decide whether to stay at AC Milan or join Manchester City.

The 26-year-old Brazil playmaker yesterday turned down a world-record transfer deal which would have made him comfortably the highest-paid footballer on the planet, deciding instead to remain in Italy rather than join a City side backed by the mega-rich Abu Dhabi United Group.



The deeply religious Kaka told AC Milan TV: "I believe I have made the right choice.



"To have gone to Manchester City could have been a great project but in the past few days I have prayed a lot to understand what the right team would be and in the end I have decided to remain here.



"I don't want anything else, I just want to be well and be happy in the place where people love me.



"From this story I have understood how people love me at Milan, the fans and my team-mates have helped me make this choice."



Real Madrid and Chelsea had already failed in their attempts to sign the South American star, but on those occasions the club had rejected the offers before personal negotiations with Kaka or his representatives could even begin.



"Milan has always turned down offers for me," Kaka said.



"I always said to everyone to first agree with Milan and then we can talk. But Milan had never accepted an offer for me."



Kaka, who is under contract with the Rossoneri until June 2013 and is the highest-paid player at Milan, said money was never a motivating factor.



"No member of my family has pushed me to go anywhere," Kaka said.



"I have not had any arguments with my father.



"My family has been very supportive and at no time have they forced me one way or the other.



"There were rumours that this story had come out because I wanted to renew my contract, this is not true.



"I have remained with the team where I am linked by heart."



Support from the fans was evident on Saturday when AC Milan played at home against Fiorentina.



The Rossoneri fans held banners and chanted songs to show their support for Kaka.



"Saturday's game was no ordinary game for me," he said. "I was very emotional.



"Many children brought their drawings that they dedicated to me.



"When I left Sao Paulo to join Milan, a large part of the public criticised me.



"Now here all the fans are there chanting my name.



"Milan is my home, where I am close to and where my heart really is. That is what made me take this decision."



Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, who was involved in yesterday's meeting with a City delegation headed by executive chairman Garry Cook, welcomed Kaka's decision to stay.



"We offered the player the chance to consider the offer and make himself a fortune, but he has higher values," said Berlusconi.



"He is staying with us, there are things which are more important than money: we are happy.



"When I heard he would prefer to stay, that he didn't think he would be missing a great opportunity and he prefers the values of our flag, the values of closeness and friendship, the warmth and the affection that all the fans have shown him in these days, I said 'hooray' and we hugged. Kaka is staying at Milan."



In conceding a first-round defeat, Cook acknowledged it was always a long shot to persuade Kaka he should join the City revolution.



"Whilst Manchester City Football Club has an obvious interest in world-class players of the quality of Kaka, we owe it to our fans that such a transfer must work on every level; commercially, financially, in terms of results on the field and within Manchester City's broader community," Cook told www.mcfc.co.uk.



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