Brazil’s glamour clash against Italy at the Confederations Cup here Sunday will be extra special for new Real Madrid signing Kaka, who until recently was an AC Milan player.
The 27-year-old, who signed a six-year contract with the Spanish giants for a reported fee of 65 million euros earlier this month, is relishing the opportunity of facing Marcello Lippi’s men.
“They lost the last match and won’t want to lose again,” he told reporters.
“We will play for first place in the group and it won’t be easy. For me it will be a particularly special match, because of everything that Italy meant for me.”
Kaka was at AC Milan from 2003, scoring 70 goals in Serie A and 23 in the Champions League. He won the 2007 Champions League with them, the 2004 league title, two European Super Cups and the world club championship in 2007.
He is not the only Italian connection, with six other members of the Brazil squad playing club football in Italy, including Julio Cesar, Maicon and Alexandre Pato.
Brazil go into the match against the world champions virtually assured of first place in Group B with six points from their opening two matches.
In contrast, Italy risk crashing out of the tournament if they lose following their shock 1-0 loss to Egypt.
They have three points, the same as Egypt who have a much easier task against the United States on the same day. Who goes through to the semis could potentially be decided by goal difference.
Brazil and AC Roma defender Juan said the team expected a tense and tight battle, as is usual between the two teams.
“Tactically, Italy are almost always perfect. Every time we play them it’s always like that,” he said.
“There’s a long rivalry between us too. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, whenever Brazil and Italy meet it’s always a tight, tense game.
“I know almost all of the Italy players because I play for AS Roma and I know they’re a great side.”
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