All StoriesMilan

Kaka: ‘If Leao wants to leave, it’s the right moment’

Former Milan midfielder Kaka believes this might be the best moment for Rafael Leao to leave Milan, but warns that  ‘sometimes leaving Milan is not a good idea.’ The Rossoneri legend was speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of this weekends Derby della Madonnina and talked about the situation his former club find themselves in, beginning with the situation surrounding Leao:

Ricardo, let’s talk about Leao?

“A fantastic player, I like him very much. If he considers Italian football as a stepping stone he is right to leave, it is the right time. I would advise him to stay, because I don’t consider Italian football a stepping stone. And sometimes leaving Milan is not a good idea.”

You know this well as after you left for Real Madrid, you did not have the same successes.

“Different environment, but I don’t like comparisons. I think Leao should consider all possibilities. Milan is giving him many. In Qatar, where I was as a commentator for Bein Sport, I met Galliani and we talked at length. He says that by now Serie A is a stepping stone, then players go elsewhere. I have a hard time thinking that way, for me the Italian league remains very hard for a striker, and I don’t feel I consider it a minor league, despite the different economic potential. In Italy I learned a lot and I became what the fans then remember about me.”

Best player in the Champions League, Ballon d’Or. While we’re at it, what advice would you give De Ketelaere?

“To enjoy the situation and make the most of the chances Milan gives him.”

For months and months they have been saying he looks like you.

“He doesn’t look like me and I don’t like comparisons. They just put pressure on the boys, especially if they come to the big clubs. I would tell De Ketelaere to take it easy. Even in my second year, the first six months of the season were very difficult. The opponents know you, they have measured you…. Everything is different.”

Let’s say De Ketelaere didn’t shine in his first season either. At least, not as much as fans expected.

“It takes calm. The advice of more experienced teammates will serve him as they served me.”

Arrigo Sacchi argued in the Gazzetta about the idea of a young Milan, stressed by post-scudetto expectations.

“I don’t believe this thesis. These guys have borne the pressure even in the first year, when there was a scudetto to win after so many years, and they were helped by the more experienced ones. By now even the younger ones are used to it. If you play in Milan, you know how it works.”

What kind of derby do you expect?

“The many goals conceded in recent games will weigh on Milan, but there is always a derby to bounce back. We have to take advantage of an important match to restart things. I expect a balanced match. Milan has nothing less than Inter, despite their recent negative results.”

How do we pick ourselves up?

“By thinking that the night is special and you have to do something special. I repeat, I expect a balanced match. And Milan wins 2-1. A derby is ideal to recover.”

Inter’s strengths?

“Lautaro. The World Cup title gives you a good amount of extra conviction.”

Milan’s strengths?

“I still say Leao. One who can change any game.”

Let’s think about the championship. An assessment of Napoli?

“Impressive, especially for continuity. The other big teams made mistakes, Napoli made zero.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has left the European scene in a somewhat sad way. Is Ibrahimovic right to think about continuing to play?

“I think his idea is to bid farewell by playing. I understand him, because he is really special. Players like him bring a simple concept to the team: winning is not the same as losing. I have the impression that for many young players if you win, it’s good, if you lose, it doesn’t matter. It is not like that. I remember the example of Paolo Maldini: he had won four Champions and wanted the fifth. These characters make a difference, Zlatan with his mentality can still be useful.”

Zlatan is also a former Juve player. What does he think about the penalty affair?

“What happens to Juve is bad for all Italian soccer. I hope they get out of this soon, it’s an important club in Europe as well and they have a lot of fans. I really hope they come out of this quickly. We experienced a different moment in 2006, taking penalties in a league in progress is difficult to handle.”

Kaka, you are now officially a licensed coach. Thoughts for the future?

“I see myself more of a manager than a coach.”

You could start with an internship at Monza….

“Why not? Galliani would be a great teacher, I talked to him in Qatar as well. A lot can be learned from him. Especially that Italian football is always alive, and with the protagonists of Serie A you will always have to deal with.”

1482 posts

About author
Serie A obsessive, lover of 90's Italian defenders, bourbon and wide open highways.
Related posts
All StoriesMilan

Antonini on Pioli: 'He is an exceptional person. He is very human'

Former Milan defender Luca Antonini, who won the Scudetto with the Rossoneri in 2010/11, spoke on Carlo…
All StoriesNapoli

Osimhen: 'I can't wait to win the Scudetto'

Victor Osimhen has been the star of the season in Serie A so far this term and…
All StoriesMilan

De Bruyne: 'Zlatan is top. He's class'

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne spoke to the press ahead of Belgium’s match against Sweden in…