Jul 23, 2012, 5:27 PM EDT
The Spanish season is just over one month away, a great time to dust off and clean up a bunch of Kaká stories. Is he trying to leave? Or is Mourinho asking him to go? Maybe he’ll stay and fight for his job! Any of these angles work. Just check the increasingly useless Google News (seriously, Google: clean it up).
I’m beyond caring about Kaká, and I feel guilty about it. At his peak, he was everything you’d want from a player, and unless you go through life with the type of sad cynicism that questions anything that seems too good, his iconography was irresistible. Eternally handsome with an envy-inducing disposition, Kaká’s success was hard to begrudge. In a sports world where fans actively invent reasons to dislike opposing players, few honors are higher.
It hurts to see he’s become so irrelevant, hurts in a way that makes me want to apologize – to make sure his name doesn’t appear in the same sentence as “irrelevant.” Oppressed by injuries and having lost the burst that once made him the world’s best, Kaká may as well not exist at Real. Had he never transferred to the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid would still be champions of Spain. With the money they sent AC Milan, they may actually be better.
But the particulars behind a Kaká move are no different today than they were last year. They’re no different than they’ll be over the next two years (the player having signed a six-year deal when he moved to Madrid). Kaká is one of the world’s highest earners, an earner into whom Real Madrid has already invested a lot of money. When healthy, he is still a useful part, even if that part’s not a starter.
Most clubs in the world can’t afford him. Those that can can’t necessarily use him, and to some of them, he may not want to go. Over the last two years, he has consistently affirmed his desire to stay and fight for his place. Perhaps something has changed, but if Real Madrid can’t find a situation that’s to Kaká’s liking, he doesn’t have to go. This isn’t North American sports.
All of which makes it hard to care about where Kaká goes. If he really wanted to move, he’d be gone by now. But he’s not. He’s still in Madrid. He’s still playing for Josè Mourinho. He’s still fighting for playing time.
If Kaká is fine with that, then I’m fine with it, too. But mostly, I don’t care. I feel guilty, because Kaká is somebody who it’s difficult not to care about, but if he can’t get interested in his potential transfer, he can’t expect me to, either.
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