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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.
Italian players used to stick to their own league until relatively recently.
Then Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola wowed Chelsea and the floodgates opened with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Toni going abroad.
Now AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has hinted he may want a fresh challenge away from Serie A.
It is hard to know when to say goodbye.
A footballer’s career is short and it can be tempting to play on as long as possible. But soccer is cruel and past achievements mean nothing when clubs plan for the future.
AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini, 39, will soon decide if he will retire at the end of the season following 23 years at the San Siro. The defender had been due to quit in May but is having second thoughts. It may all hinge on whether Milan snatch a Champions League place.
A Ronaldinho move to AC Milan now just seems to be a matter of time, after the club and the player’s agent both announced that personal terms have been agreed.
“There is a general agreement with the player,” Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said on Saturday. ”Now a deal has to be reached with Barcelona. Give us time.”
He broke records galore in seven years at AC Milan, but his two seasons at Chelsea have been utterly miserable. Injury has played a part in his fall from grace, but generally the 31-year-old has been too slow for the demands of English football and has lost his magic touch.