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Florentino’s back — is Kaka coming with him?
Florentino Perez is back on the scene and if the Madrid sports press are right the first ‘Galactico’ of his second era at Real Madrid will be Brazil’s Kaka, assuming he wins next month’s election to the presidency.
“Kaka signed” Marca said on a special wrap-around front cover for Saturday’s edition, while AS led with “Kaka, the details of the agreement.”
There was little evidence given to substantiate the stories, which spoke of a five-year deal agreed with the player and a transfer fee of around 60 million euros agreed with Milan, all linked to a Florentino victory.
On Thursday, Florentino formally declared he would enter the race for the presidency and spoke of plans for a “spectacular sporting project”. He said details would be forthcoming in the near future but his answers to questions were carefully designed to tip the wink.
When asked whether Kaka was on his agenda, Perez was charm personified as he replied with a smile: “I am a friend of (Milan’s vice-president) Adriano Galliani. We often speak to each other.
“Sometimes we talk about football, but you’ll have to wait until the election.”
This sort of talk is music to the ears of Real Madrid fans who are desperate for a return to the glamour of his previous six-year tenure when vast sums were splashed to lure Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham to the Bernabeu.
If timing is everything, the Kaka ‘revelations’ on the Saturday Barcelona could well wrap up the Primera Liga title, are the perfect tonic for downcast Madrid fans.
Also, the reported deal for Kaka is a perfect dig at former president Ramon Calderon, whose resignation back in January precipitated the new election. Calderon was elected to the post in 2006 on the back of a promise to sign Kaka — something he failed to do and something fans never allowed him to forget.
Florentino overshadows the other three candidates being tipped to stand when the registration period opens on May 21.
His media pull is reflected in the fact that Marca, Spain’s biggest selling newspaper, devoted the first 16 pages of Friday’s edition to coverage of his formal entry to the race.
Before the vote is held on June 14, expect further revelations, correct or not, with regards to Franck Ribery, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsene Wenger among others — not from Florentino directly, but from his cheerleaders in the Madrid-based sports press.
GALACTICOS NEW AND OLD?: AC Milan’s David Beckham (R) and his teammate Kaka speak during a news conference before their friendly match against Albania in Tirana May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Arben Celi