Kaka’s commitment to Brazil under question
Kaka’s withdrawal from Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers later this month has raised more doubts over his commitment to playing for his country.
The AC Milan player missed last year’s Copa America at his own request, saying he needed a rest. He hasn’t played for Brazil yet this year and will now sit out this month’s World Cup qualifiers away to Paraguay and at home to Argentina after knee surgery.
Kaka underwent an arthroscopy operation on his left knee on May 23 and initially said he hoped to be ready for the games, two of the most difficult and important in Brazil’s qualifying campaign for 2010.
But on Wednesday, Brazil coach Dunga withdrew him from the squad after being told by Milan that Kaka could only start training on June 10, five days before the match in Asuncion against group leaders Paraguay.
Brazil doctor Jose Luis Runco said Kaka had suffered damage to the meniscus caused by overuse, leading to discomfort.
It was the timing of the operation, immediately after the end of the Italian season, which has been questioned by some critics. They argue that if the injury was serious, Kaka should have undergone surgery earlier and that if it wasn’t that serious, he could have waited until after the qualifying matches, when he would have had several weeks to get better.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) are also upset at AC Milan’s refusal to allow Kaka to play in the Olympic Games as an overage player. Sources at the CBF said recently that the general feeling is that Kaka would have been released by the club if he had made a fuss.
Brian Homewood, Rio