MADRID - Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain
orchestrated Real Madrid's 6-3 destruction of Valencia in La
Liga on Saturday and demonstrated the impressive strength in
depth available in Jose Mourinho's squad.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka scored two goals and set up another
two while Argentine striker Higuain also set up two and bagged a
hat-trick for himself.
Both players are coming back from long-term injuries and
made starts as coach Mourinho rested many of the players who had
competed in Wednesday's 1-0 extra-time victory over Barcelona in
the King's Cup Final.
The Portuguese had one eye on next Wednesday's Champions
League semi-final first leg which is also against Barca, but
could still call on three internationals to lead the line with
Kaka, Higuain and Frenchman Karim Benzema.
None of the three, who cost Real just over 100 million euros
in total, played in the cup final.
"Kaka has played an absolutely fantastic match in a position
I like a lot," Mourinho told reporters on Saturday.
"For his confidence it is fantastic, and now with six or
seven games left to play we need the best from him. What he does
this season will help us to be able to see the best of Kaka next
The contrast with Barcelona was marked as the league leaders
looked ahead to the final month of the season with a smaller
squad that has been hit by injuries to Bojan Krkic, Adriano
Correia and Eric Abidal.
A laboured 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Osasuna
maintained their eight-point lead at the top with five games
left but with Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi starting on
the bench, Barca failed to shine.
Regular striker Villa started up front with former youth
team player Jeffren and Ibrahim Affelay, who cost some four
Messi came off the bench to score Barca's second goal and
settle the match at the end, but coach Pep Guardiola was left
with further injury worries.
Brazilian full-back Maxwell and Argentine centre-back Gabriel
Milito finished with groin and calf problems respectively the
"The strength of Madrid is clear," Guardiola told reporters.
"Their reserves are Benzema, Higuain and Kaka. They have a very
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