Jumpthefence isn't ashamed to admit he's a little bit in love with Kaka. You know the way everyone had favourite players when they were younger, players they'd pretend to be out in the schoolyard or when smashing a ball around with friends down the pitch, well if I was still a nine-year old kid, I'd be Kaka. (As an aside, Jumpthefence recalls wanting to be Franco Baresi for a long spell, a rather bizarrely unglamourous choice that must say something about mentality.)
I remember crushing into Italian pubs and cafes throughout 2003 and 2004 to watch the wonderful Brazilian perform from his box of tricks and he rarely disappointed. Perhaps I romanticise Kaka as some sort of symbol of a couple of years spent in Italy, but he's always struck me as the most poetic of footballers, so graceful and balanced, always capable of picking out the right pass or shot for the right occasion, possessing all the skills - surprising turn of pace, two great feet, awareness, selflessness. He never showed off unnecessarily; he just conjured goals and assists from everywhere.
Sure he appeared a little wasted in Milan this past couple of seasons but if was going to move, I wanted somewhere fitting, somewhere with a tradition of loving great attacking footballers - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man Utd. So imagine the disappointment of the news Man City are in talks to bring him to Eastlands in a £91m bid. Imagine the potential waste of a talent like Kaka, a real shining star being extinguished by the shoddy cash-waving of a club who stand for everything horrid about football today. Imagine him wasting a few years in mediocrity as they attempt to paste together a side of stars. I only hope (and I think it might be so) that the boy has more class than that, but of course even Milan will find it hard to turn down that kind of money these days. It'd make my eyes bleed to see a genuinely great player in mid-table scraps rather than the Champions League nights his talent deserves.