There are those that will argue that Kaka’s move to Real Madrid hasn’t worked out as well as many had hoped following reported speculation linking him with a move to LA Galaxy. The Brazilian shot to prominence during his six years with AC Milan, picking up an impressive 34 individual accolades, including the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, FIFPro World Player of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year awards, all of which came in 2007.
His form steadily increased over the next 24 months and despite being unable to land further domestic and continental success during his final two years in Italy, Kaka still helped himself to 35 goals and a further 22 assists in 77 appearances.
Such impressive displays unsurprisingly saw Real take a shine in the creative playmaker and in 2009, he followed Cristiano Ronaldo to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as part of Florentino Perez’s return to the La Liga giants, heralding in the second era of the Galacticos.
The duo arrived for a combined £136m over three years ago, with Perez paying £56m of that to AC Milan to secure the services of the mercurial midfielder. However, while Ronaldo’s career has soared to new heights, the same can’t be said of his Brazilian teammate.
A series of knee injuries and a loss of form has limited his impact in Spain, with a substantial chunk of his 102 appearances coming from the bench. Nevertheless, Kaka still successfully made five assists during Madrid’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season and, at present, is enjoying somewhat of a mini-renaissance in the Spanish capital.
The Sao Paulo trainee arguably turned out his finest performance in recent memory during Madrid’s 4-1 hammering of Ajax earlier this week, the player himself netting a superb curling effort from 20 yards out to beat Dutchman Kenneth Vermeer to make it 3-0 at the time.
However, Kaka has still failed to crack into Jose Mourinho’s starting XI this season, regardless of his cameo appearances, having made just one Primera Division start against Celta Vigo, a game in which failed to impress the Madrid head coach and was substituted at half-time.
His failure to secure a regular starting spot has unsurprisingly seen him linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, with the player himself admitting that he could be looking to leave Madrid in January unless the situation improves.
LA Galaxy, at present, appear to be the frontrunners to secure his signature should he become available. The recently crowned MLS Champions are understandably keen to land a designated player - one that isn’t part of the salary cap regulations adopted in 2007 - following the departure of David Beckham.
The West Coast side have shot to worldwide prominence, alongside the MLS itself, following the arrival of the former England captain in 2007. Granted, the MLS Cup final between the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo may’ve dropped on the Nielsen rating from the previous year, but the popularity of football, or soccer, in America has continuously grown since Brand Beckham jetted in from Madrid.
Now that the 37-year-old is set to move to, at the time of writing, an unknown destination, the opportunity for another world renowned star to make the trip to Hollywood is most certainly available.
That player should be Kaka. Many a football fan have questioned the link, with a majority insisting that the Brazilian can still cut it at the highest level in Europe. While that is the case, one has to remember that Beckham was only two years older than the midfielder at the time of his move and, as his performances during his two loan stints in Milan showcased, he could still perform to a high standard this side of the Atlantic.
Furthermore, the former Manchester United ace has delivered a ringing endorsement for the MLS side to move for Kaka, stating “We’d welcome any player of his skill and calibre at Galaxy”. The player himself has insisted he has heard nothing, but the speculation will continue to mount right up until the close of the January transfer window.
The 30-year-old already has a mass following on Twitter, currently second behind Real teammate Ronaldo in the worldwide follower count, which would ultimately increase should he opt to swap Spain for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
On top of that, with the MLS beginning to take flight in the UK following Beckham’s stint in LA, the presence of the Brazilian in America would tap into the South American market, a major continent in regards to determining success.
Whenever a Brazil international, especially one with as big a fanbase as Kaka, moves from team to team, curiosity, almost instantaneously, significantly improves. When it was announced that Lucas Moura secured his big money switch to Paris St. Germain, the French club understandably saw a raft of interest increase, coupled with company of compatriot’s current sporting director Leonardo and soon-to-be teammates Maxwell and Thiago Silva further bolstering the attention.
Should the Real Madrid ace secure a move to Galaxy, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see something similar occur with the MLS side. On top of that, Kaka would rapidly become the main man at the side, much like he was at AC Milan.
At Real, due to the likes of Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema at the club, the midfielder is often overlooked due to the performances of his teammates. His displays would understandably come under the microscope due to his popularity, but being the big fish in a small pond would provide the confidence boost that the goalscoring star needs.
He wouldn’t come cheaply, that’s for sure, but Galaxy would undoubtedly recoup a majority of the costs through merchandising and advertising. The platform is certainly there for Los Galacticos to expand further courtesy of Beckham’s time in America. If one player was to take it to the next level, that player would be Kaka.