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Kaka marks Milan return by captaining his side in a friendly

Sep 7, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka Getty Images

Those who are not fans of Italian football likely do not understand the utter joy most AC Milan fans feel at the return of Ricardo Kaká. In fact, it’s unlikely anyone but fans of the rossoneri really can comprehend the depth of feeling these supporters have for the Brazilian, who spent six seasons with the club before departing for Real Madrid. After Milan re-signed Kaká at the end of the transfer deadline, the club’s official media was touting the achievement, and supporters were giving right back, writing in with stories of the first time they had seen the player and the tears they wept when they heard he’d returned.

Now, after four years spent away, Kaká has donned the rossoneri jersey once again. He also pulled on the captain’s armband to guide his side to a 4-0 victory over Swiss club Chiasso, providing an assist along the way. Kaká was subbed off at halftime and, in the press conference afterward, the 31 year old admitted to lacking a bit of match fitness.

Not that this seems to matter to Milan. Vice-President Adriano Galliani, speaking to the media on Saturday, spoke about how he’d dreamt about convincing Kaká to return since the player left in 2009. Galliani spoke about Kaká being almost the same as he was ten years ago, and dismissed concerns over the injuries that plagued the Brazilian during his time at Real Madrid. Kaká has been examined by the Milan medical staff and his knee is in great shape, Galliani continued.

And that’s reassuring for Milan. With the club having sold Kevin Prince-Boateng to Schalke during the transfer window, they’ll be expecting Kaká to step in, most likely as a regular starter. If the rossoneri manage to keep Kaká fit, healthy, and productive, they just might be able to challenge title holders Juventus for the scudetto.

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