By Derek Wei
The week right before your important exams was never easy – you had planned to work as hard as you can to tough it through, but at the same time an inner voice kept telling you: “just chill and you will be fine”. And at the end of September 2011, one week before my final SAT exam, my inner voice won over my desire to do more practice tests or review vocab list again. It was the midnight of Sep 28th, I throw away my Princeton Review and decided to clear my mind through watching another Champion League game. I tried to find a Milan’s game, but the only game on air then was a replay of Real Madrid vs. Ajax. “Ok, I don’t care about neither of them, but I guess I will watch it.”
But I soon spotted something that I actually really cared about – the elegant dribble, the unpredictable pace, and the familiar long hair.. Yes, it was him! It was almost like yesterday that he was still playing at San Siro, wearing his Red and Black #22 jersey. The past 2 years wasn’t easy for him: under the lobbying of Florentino, as well as the power of €68.5 million, Milan sent Kaká to Real Madrid. But the then three-time UEFA Team of Year player soon underwent serious injuries, spending most of 09,10 seasons at the sideline. And before watching this game, I wasn’t even aware of his return.
Real Madrid was doing pretty well as a team in that game. 25 mins into the game, Ronaldo scored a goal for RM at a quick counterattack. And then, Ronaldo again, received an accurate long pass from the backfield, stepped-over (of course..) a little bit and pass the ball down the mid. Kaká caught the ball, slowed down and dribbled a few steps, and then drill low past Ajax goalkeeper’s fingertip. Goal!
Kaka’s goal starts from 2’16 of the video
Crowds at Bernabeu went crazy, and so was Kaká. Holding his fists and running to the sideline, he was literally yelling. So used of his gentle way of celebration during his Milan times, I was shocked to see how emotional he was at that moment.
Maybe it was the injuries, or maybe it was the doubt and criticism from media, or the pressure to gain trust from coach.. not matter what that was, it had obviously been suppressing Kaká for a long time. But maybe that’s part of the beauty of soccer’s brutality. It allows player to resurge and reinvent themselves. Because of this, I was able to see the best of Kaká.
“Ricardo Kaká vs Ajax – Home (27/09/2011) HD 720p by Guga.” Youtube. Published [Jan 2016]. Youtube.Youtube, n.d.Web. Feb 2016 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Tg7SZbghA>