The strength of the Real Madrid squad may perhaps be underlined by the almost certain inclusion of once the ‘best footballer on earth’, the Brazilian midfield maestro Kaka in Real’s starting line-up for Saturday’s El Clasico at the Bernabeu.
Los Blancos are planning to give 4-5 key players a well-deserved rest to avoid fatigue at next midweek’s Champions League tie against Manchester United, which gives Kaka, an otherwise certain starter for top teams around the world, a chance to impress manager Jose Mourinho and create a ground for his regular first-team inclusion.
The midfielder is also looking forward to the challenge, in a press conference before the Clasico, he said to reporters:
“It could be a great occasion for me, to show that I can still do great things for the team in important matches. It will be a great opportunity for me if I play tomorrow.”
A section in the Spanish media believed that Real would be out in full strength for the Saturday encounter in order to stamp their supremacy over Barcelona, but Kaka stressed on the fact that his team would only take the game as an opportunity to narrow down somewhat the huge lead Barcelona enjoys at the top of the La Liga.
If anyone were to believe that Real’s only focus would be on sending Barcelona into a mini-crisis after their Copa Del Rey debacle, Kaka poured cold water on such thoughts by commenting:
“We are not thinking about sending them into a crisis, we’re just thinking about what we need to do. We go into the game with a lot of confidence and we have to get three points tomorrow to reduce the gap from 16 points to 13.”
While Jose Mourinho would have one eye on the glamour matchup of the Champions League in the midweek, for players like Kaka, Marcelo, Modric et al tonight’s Clasico is an auditioning stage to cement a place in an already set in stone first eleven of Real, and this adds a further interesting subtext to the sixth Clasico of the season.