Real Madrid have completed the signing of Brazilian playmaker Kaka from AC Milan on a six-year deal. The fee is reported to be about £56m, which would be a new world record in pounds sterling, surpassing the £45.6m Real paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.
Kaka, 27, revealed he has joined the Spanish club to help the Italians overcome their financial difficulties.
“I wanted to stay but the world crisis affected my decision,” he said. “I knew I’d only leave Milan to play for Real.”
The attacking midfielder, speaking after having a medical in Recife, where Brazil face Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, added:
“I spoke with the Milan directors and we reached the conclusion that the best thing for everybody would be to sell.”
And he revealed that the deal had been in the pipeline for some time.
“I’ve been weighing up the offer from Real Madrid a lot,” he confirmed. “It’s an important project for me to continue growing in my career. I’m not going to Real Madrid for money, as I had other offers. But the deal was sealed a long time ago. I wanted this move to be announced sooner. For me, it’s a relief that it has been announced now.”
And that deal was sealed by the ambition of returning Real president Florentino Perez, who previously led the Spanish club from 2000 to 2006 – during the famous galacticos era.
“The president is already making contact with potential signings and is putting together a competitive team, one which will try to once again become champions in Spain and Europe,” continued Kaka. “That’s why I chose Madrid. They have historic players there already, such as Raul and Iker Casillas. It will be an important challenge for me. We’re going to win many titles again.”
Kaka had the opportunity to join Manchester City earlier in the year during the January transfer window for a reported £100m but opted to stay in Italy.
“Manchester City and Real Madrid are two different clubs with different situations,” he explained. At that time, it was mid-season, I had a strong emotional impact due to the Italian fans requesting me to stay and I decided to stay. Now another chance came up and AC Milan is in a big crisis [financially]. For me, the sporting project at Madrid is interesting and will be an important boost to continue my career at the highest level.”
Kaka had been at Milan since moving from Brazilian side Sao Paolo in 2003 for 8.5m euros and he leaves the Rossoneri on good terms.
“I want to thank Milan, as they were the club who put me on the international scene. They gave me the opportunity to become a big name in Europe,” he stated. I’m happy to leave Milan by the front door, with a lot of friends. It has been very emotional to see what the Milan fans have done for me.”
A short statement on the Real site said:
“He is a Real Madrid player now after an agreement was reached with AC Milan. The Brazilian has passed all the tests of the medical examination satisfactorily. Kaka has signed a contract with Real Madrid for the next six seasons.”
A Milan statement read:
“It will be very difficult to fill the void that will be left by Kaka. We offer him the most cordial and affectionate wishes for the continuation of his sporting career. He is a shining example of professionalism and commitment. AC Milan thank the man and the great champion Kaka for his decisive contribution to the many victories achieved in the six years of his commitment.”
The official unveiling in Madrid is unlikely to take place until the end of the month because Kaka is in the Brazil squad for the Confederations Cup in South Africa, which starts on Sunday.
Now that the Kaka deal is done, who will Madrid turn their attention to next? British newspapers say Madrid will have to pay Cristiano Ronaldo over £20m if his transfer is not complete by the end of the month.