But the goal he scored was so good, it must be taken as both a reminder and a warning. He is slowly approaching peak form, which should strike fear into the hearts of opponents, according to FIFA.com.
“It was one of my most beautiful goals,” FIFA.com reports Kaka told Real Madrid’s website.
“I am growing increasingly confident in my game and touch on the ball. The most important thing to me is that I’m not sustaining injuries and that I manage to pull off good efforts to help the team; all that makes me very happy. I am gradually growing as a player and I’m improving at the most crucial moment of the season.”
The 29-year-old scored the second goal in Real Madrid’s 5-2 victory over Apoel Nicosia. It helped the Spanish giant cruise to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, where it faces Bayern Munich in the season’s best matchup.
The powerfully hit, swerving shot evaded the Apoel goalkeeper, tucked inside the post and brought the world to its feet admiration. It seems like ages since Kaka was in the news for a piece of magic. Moments like these remind fans of the player he was (2007 FIFA World Player of the Year) before a left knee injury nearly cut his career tragically short.
He missed eight months of action (from the summer of 2010 until January 2011) because of knee surgery. Knee, calf and other muscle problems slowed his return, and he suffered setbacks as recently as last fall. There were reports Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was looking to sell him during the January transfer window.
But a move never materialized. The FIFA World Cup winner continued working himself back into Mourinho’s good graces, and his playing time gradually has increased in recent months.
Rather than being a “spent force” as some have accused him, Kaka has quietly put up impressive numbers this season. He has scored seven goals and set up 15 more in 35 games (in all competitions). More importantly, he is starting games, and playing the full 90 minutes again.
It remains to be seen if he will ever be the player that terrorized defenders from around the world. But he will be a major factor as Real Madrid chases a La Liga and Champions League double.
See Kaka’s wonder goal in the video below.