Kaká is set to hang up his boots after playing his final MLS season with Orlando City and has yet to decide on his future plans, although he has stated a desire to follow Zinedine Zidane’s lead and go into management at some point. In the meantime, the former Milan and Real Madrid midfielder has been attending promotional acts and was in Russia to present the ball for the World Cup alongside Leo Messi and the Real Madrid manager. There, he spoke to Colombian media outlet El Espectador and discussed his career, his departure from the Bernabéu and James Rodríguez’s Bernabéu exit.
Ballon d’Or: “It’s incredible to win an individual award in a team sport and also one where everybody wants to be able to say: ‘I’m the best.’ I tried to maintain a good level of form and I understood that the award was for what we did as a team. I am always grateful to my teammates at Milan for what we achieved.”
Who will win the next one after Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi? “Football isn’t an exact science so it’s difficult to say what will happen in the future, but I would say that the next winner of the Ballon d’Or after Cristiano and Messi will be Neymar.”
Madrid career: “At Real Madrid everything gets taken to extremes, as much for the good things as the bad things, so you have to adapt to the way that the press and the fans live through different situations. For a player it’s an amazing experience to be at Real Madrid. I matured a lot there, principally as a person.”
Kaká: James is still a fantastic player, he didn't forget how to play"
Bernabéu exit, similar to James’: “What happened to James and to me can happen to any player and not just at Real Madrid. As a player you make changes that you think are going to work out in one way and for a number of reasons it doesn’t pan out as you hoped it would.”
James: “One thing is clear: James didn’t forget how to play football. He is still a fantastic player and he’ll find his best form again at his new club and I’m sure he’ll continue to play well for Colombia. Football is getting quicker all the time but players like James know how to adapt. He is already accustomed to a faster style of football. It mustn’t be forgotten that he was the best player at the last World Cup.”