Kaka‘s fairy-tale second coming to AC Milan might have turned into a nightmare had he not acted quickly. Now, he could become a greater hero to Milan fans than he was before — if that’s even possible.
On Saturday, he suffered a thigh injury 70 minutes into his second debut with the Italian soccer club. The injury rules him out of action for at least 10 days and up to one month. The Brazilian soccer star has astonishingly asked AC Milan not to pay him while he recuperates, according to Football Italia.
“You have probably read about my injury on the Milan website,” Kaka said. “Yesterday was a bad day for me because in all honesty I was not expecting an injury like this. It was really bad and difficult for me.
“I have spoken at length with the club, with [vice president Adriano] Galliani and with the doctors to decide on a few things.
“In the end I decided that I don’t want anything from Milan except for love and support until I am better, until I am fully fit and ready to play again. For this reason, I have decided to suspend my current pay for this period of time. The only thing I ask is for support and help to recover properly.
“I have already started my rehabilitation and I have to say that your support and everything I have heard over the last few days really drives me on and makes me determined to come back as soon as possible.
“It is a difficult moment, but I have started to work on getting better and I hope to be back as quickly as possible to bring some joy to all you fans out there and to myself too.”
The 31-year-old playmaker returned to AC Milan from Real Madrid on Sept. 2. He joined his former team on a free transfer — just four years departing in a world-record transfer worth £56 million ($89.2 million). He took a pay cut, reportedly from €10 million ($13.2 million) €4 million ($5.3 million) per year, to facilitate his return, and the sacrifice further endeared him to Milan fans.
Kaka played 268 games for Milan during his first stint at the club (2003-09). He helped Milan win the Serie A (Italian first division) title in 2004 and the UEFA Champions League in 2007. He also won FIFA’s World Player of the Year award in 2007.
Currently, AC Milan lacks the financial firepower it enjoyed for much of the last 20 years. It has not confirmed whether or not it will honor Kaka’s latest goodwill gesture, but it has done something similar in the past. In 2010, American defender Oguchi Onyewu agreed to play for one season without earning a salary because injury had sidelined him for the previous season.
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