Monday, January 3, 2011
Kaka returns from injury in Real Madrid's derby against Getafe
2007 FIFA Player of the Year and Balloon d'Or Winner Kaka returned to competitive play for Real Madrid after a six month hiatus due to a knee injury in today's derby against Getafe. The Brazilian midfielder came on as a substitute in the 75th minute and enjoyed an uneventful 15 minutes of match play. Real Madrid won 3-2 thanks to two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and a goal by Mesut Ozil, but Kaka's return from injury marked the highlight of the match. Speaking of his return, an ebullient Kaka remarked: 'I am very happy to finally be back and return to the pitch with my team-mates. I went through some very difficult moments during this period but at last I think it's over. I didn't know when I would return, if I would return, and I am very happy. I felt really good.' Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho commented that Kaka's return was "fantastic news for Real Madrid and for the Spanish League and soccer in general." An emotional Kaka went on to elaborate that he was deeply encouraged by his successful return to the pitch after enduring moments of darkness when he unsure about the viability of his career: “There were moments during my recovery when I didn’t know if I would every play again. Now that is over and I hope to get steady playing time so I can continue recovering my form.” Kaka dedicated his return to his family and wife, Caroline Celico because, 'above all...she knows what I went through.' Kaka's return to fitness is particularly timely for Real Madrid given the injury to Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is expected to undergo surgery for a back injury sometime in the next few months. Jose Mourinho's Los Blancos are now two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, with 44 points and 46 points respectively from 17 games. Villareal trails in third place with 36 points.