Brazilian journalist Fernando Duarte (a future guest on the Soccerlens Podcast, once we can track him down) interviewed Brazil and Real Madrid star Kaka in Doha this week, ahead of Brazil’s friendly against England.
I don’t think anybody expected them to go through [qualification] so strongly, especially with the two emphatic defeats of Croatia. It’s not to say England weren’t a dangerous team before, but there is something different now. They look much sharper collectively, like Mr Capello’s sides are known to be.”
“England have always had individually strong players … but what seems to have changed is the arrival of a better collective awareness. The players look much more aware with regards to movements and positioning. The attitude is also stronger. They are definitely one of the teams to consider for the trophy in South Africa.”
Kaka on…comparisons between the 2006 and 2010 Brazil teams:
“People have to understand generations come and go. A whole era ended in 2006 but I don’t really think the lads were unaware of what was at stake in Germany. But I agree that a lot of players in the current squad have more reason to be hungry for World Cup success.”
Kaka on … Real Madrid:
“The media and public created the idealisation that you would immediately reap the benefits of all the signings, mine and Cristiano’s included, while the people who live football know that it takes time to get things going. Expectations will always be high and obviously it is not normal for Real to be hammered by a lower league team.
“But to expect us to win all games 4-0 or start talking about a crisis and sacking the manager [Manuel Pellegrini] when we are only one point behind Barcelona in La Liga and joint top with Milan in our Champions League group is a bit ludicrous.”
Kaka on … Cristiano Ronaldo:
“We hit it off from the start. Cristiano and I speak the same language so it was quite natural that I looked for him and other Portuguese speakers to settle in. People see him as this big kid, but the lad is quite mature for his age. As different as our lifestyles are, we often have dinner and talk about things.”
The full interview can be read on the Guardian.