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Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009
Kaka won't turn Man City into Premier League power
LONDON — Manchester City is ready to offer AC Milan £100 million for Kaka and pay the Brazilian £500,000 a week.
Yes, the lunatics have finally taken over Planet Football's asylum.
City's Middle East owners can afford anything and everything, but when you double the world record transfer fee Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane it means a five-year investment totaling £225 million. Kaka could then walk away on a free transfer.
Even if they sold Kaka after two or three years they would only get around £35 million for him because no other club has as much spending power as City (or as Americans would say, fewer cents but more sense).
The billionaire Arabs did not become mega-rich by brokering such deals.
There is nothing wrong with moving jobs for more money, it's what most of us do. However, few of us are already earning around £12 million a year.
How rich do you want to be?
If Kaka is earning £500,000 per week in Manchester, he probably wouldn't care what people were saying about him or what teammates being paid one-tenth of his salary think about the new multimillionaire in town.
It must be remembered great players make great teams stronger. They do not make ordinary sides much better and Kaka's arrival (plus that of left-back Wayne Bridge) would not suddenly see City change from pretenders to contenders.
More than anything City needs a new defensive midfield player not another Brazilian striker.
(By the way, has any player been a bigger waste of money than Jo, a non-scoring Brazilian for whom City paid CSKA Moscow £18 million in July? Rarely can so much have been paid for so little and rarely can so little have been paid so much. Jo must have the mother of all agents).
There have been mixed messages coming from all the parties concerned in the proposed deal, but for Milan and Kaka it is surely an offer neither can refuse.
One hundred million pounds can buy three or four outstanding players and £500,000 a week is riches beyond dreams, even if money is not Kaka's main motivator.
Kaka's biggest gripe is not his Milan wage packet. His frustration has increased since the arrival of fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho from Barcelona last summer.
Ronaldinho's fitness level is not as high as Kaka's, and the latter is sacrificing himself by doing much of the donkey work to cover for Ronnie, and so rarely finds himself in goalscoring positions these days.
While Kaka would obviously improve any team in the world, successful sides are built from the back, not the front. It is the defensive strength of Milan and Manchester United that took them to the European summit and pairing Kaka with fellow countryman Robinho in attack is putting on the roof before the foundation is laid.
It is difficult to believe Kaka was top of manager Mark Hughes' shopping list, but Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi moneymen who own City are playing real fantasy football.
Where Kaka would feel at home if he moves is playing for the city's second club. Just as Manchester City lives in the shadow of United, Inter Milan is on track to win its fourth consecutive Serie A crown.
While few could argue strongly against the choice of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo for 2008, the voting system FIFA uses is farcical and looking at some of the choices voters are as impartial as North Korean state television.
It should be renamed the Teammate of the Year trophy.
Or You Chose who?
FIFA does not allow the international captains to vote for fellow countrymen which is understandable. However, remarkably and ridiculously they can choose club team-mates of a different nationality and, in the opinion of John Terry (England and Chelsea), the three best players in the world in 2008 were: 1. Didier Drogba 2. Lionel Messi 3. Petr Cech.
Florent Malouda is probably upset Messi, the Barcelona and Argentina genius, was included by his Chelsea captain and he wasn't.
Opinions are subjective and discussing the merits of Ronaldo and Messi over the last 12 months would have merit. A strong case could reasonably be put for both.
However, Terry, has taken bias to the extreme and choosing Drogba as the finest footballer on Planet Football in 2008 is like nominating Vinnie Jones for an Oscar.
It would be interesting to ask Terry: "Drogba scored six goals for Chelsea in 2008, Ronaldo netted 29. Ronaldo helped United win the Champions League. Drogba was sent off in Moscow.
This season, Drogba has completed only three matches and was banned after throwing a coin at Burnley fans.
Ronaldo recently helped United win the Club World Cup. So tell us John . . . why do you think Drogba had a better 12 months than Ronaldo?
And while we're at it, can you expand on why you believe Cech was the third-best player in the world ahead of . . . well, Ronaldo plus Euro 2008 winners Xavi and Fernando Torres . . .?"
Presumably, Terry couldn't bring himself to vote for any player from the domestic enemy that is United.
The same applies to Liverpool's Sami Hyypia, captain of Finland, whose top three were Kaka, Steven Gerrard and . . . Alessandro Nesta. In Hyypia's view, Nesta was a more outstanding and consistent performer than Ronaldo, Messi, Xavi . . .
The weakness in Hyypia's choice is that the injured Nesta has not played a Serie A game since last May. He retired from international football in 2006 and played only two Champions League ties last year.
Christopher Davies covers the Premier League for the London Daily Telegraph.