MILAN, June 8 - Kaka's departure from AC Milan to
Real Madrid is another indication of the decline of Italian
soccer and may prompt an exodus of other top Serie A players.
Unprecedented financial worries have prompted the Rossoneri
to sell their best player when they had almost always been a
In just over a week they have watched Paolo Maldini retire,
coach Carlo Ancelotti move to Chelsea and Kaka head for Spain.
Further damage could follow if reports are true that
Ancelotti is keen on taking striker Alexandre Pato and
midfielder Andrea Pirlo to London with him.
Serie A top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also said several
times that he is restless at champions Inter Milan, with a move
to Barcelona mooted by his agent.
"I don't see myself in the shirt of the same club for lots of
years," Ibrahimovic told reporters. "I've won everything in
Italy, I don't know what I still have to achieve here."
Italian football, hit by a match-fixing scandal and hooligan
problems in recent years, had hoped the arrival of Ronaldinho
and David Beckham at Milan and charismatic coach Jose Mourinho
at Inter Milan would signal a return to Serie A's glory days.
Ronaldinho, however, has continued to struggle, Los Angeles
Galaxy refused to be cowed by Milan and dragged Beckham back to
the United States, while Mourinho found winning the league a
little easy in his first season and links with Real persist.
The exit of Kaka is a hammer blow though, given that fans
had hoped he was staying for good after turning down Manchester
City for more money in January.
Milan, European champions two years ago, managed to beat off
several approaches from Real for the Brazil playmaker last year
but eventually they could not resist Florentino Perez's money
and neither could Kaka and his agent-father.
The Rossoneri have repeatedly said that tax laws in Italy
make it difficult for Italian clubs to compete with England and
Spain in the transfer market.
Serie A sides also lose out on revenue because they do not
own their own stadiums, many of which are decaying under local
Milan, who along with sources from Dubai have denied reports
of a possible Arab investment in the club, have stagnated since
2007 and finished third in Serie A this term following a
disappointing fifth place the season before.
The Rossoneri were also easily beaten as holders by Arsenal
in the 2008 Champions League knockout stages while all four
Italian clubs failed to reach the quarter-finals this year.
Serie A is no longer attracting the top-level players as it
did in the 1990s. New Juventus recruit Diego is decent but the
days of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Zinedine Zidane are
The top five nominees for 2008's FIFA world player of the
year award are now all based in England or Spain (Cristiano
Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres, Kaka and Xavi).
"Ten years ago Messi and Ronaldo could have played in Italy
but now no one even considers it," Milan chief executive Adriano
Galliani said when unveiling new coach Leonardo last week.
Galliani joked that the Brazilian's elevation from technical
director was partly to save money.
Even with Mourinho, Inter failed to tempt Chelsea's Frank
Lampard in the last close season and this time they are buying
Genoa's Diego Milito and Thaigo Motta -- good players but not
Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni is one of a handful of Italy
internationals playing abroad, something almost unheard of 20
There is little indication Italy can recover quickly from
the departures of Kaka and others but national coach Marcello
Lippi pointed out they were still world champions.
"I don't believe there is a general desire to escape Italy,"
he told reporters.
More Kaka from FourFourTwo:
Kaka joins Madrid from Milan
Shy-boy demeanour hides ambition
Kaka leaves Milan as best friends
Kaka's exit a fresh blow for Italian football
Kaka: the factbox
Money talks and Kaka walks as Silvo suffers austerity
BLOG: The former republic of Real Madrid
BLOG: Madrid's "new Guti" doesn't want to be there
Bayern overcome heartbreak of losing two finals in three seasons by beating Dortmund 2-1
Decision not to send off Bayern Munich defender Dante rankles with upbeat Dortmund boss
Heynckes becomes only the fourth manager to win the European Cup with two different teams
Dortmund striker could soon join German rivals and newly-crowned Champions League winners
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010