Brazil's Kaka signs for European champions Milan
( 2003-08-20 10:00) (Agencies)
Brazil midfielder Kaka completed his move to AC Milan on Tuesday, signing a four-year contract with the European champions.
The attacking midfielder, who Milan said cost them a $8.2 million transfer fee, could feature in Saturday's friendly against Romania's National Bucharest and will be available for the European Super Cup against Porto in Monte Carlo on August 29.
Kaka joins a large Brazilian contingent at Milan including World Cup captain Cafu, former Barcelona striker Rivaldo, defender Roque Junior, winger Serginho and goalkeeper Dida.
"Rivaldo is a personal friend and I spoke to him and the other four about the club and they all told me great things about Milan and said it was the best team to come and play in Italy for," Kaka told a news conference at the club's training centre.
"I'm delighted to be in Italy, I remember seeing Milan on television as a kid, playing Sao Paulo in Tokyo and I never thought I would reach the dream of putting on this shirt," he added.
The 21-year-old was part of the Brazil squad that won the World Cup last year, making a brief appearance against Costa Rica, and is also captain of the under-23 side that will feature in next year's Olympic Games.
In 146 games with Sao Paulo he scored 58 goals and has four goals from his nine appearances for the full Brazilian national side, including both in the recent 2-0 win over Colombia in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
Milan's sports director Ariedo Braida said the European champions had been tracking Kaka's progress for some time.
"We have followed the player for two years and have got to know his quality and watched his performances. We decided that now was the time to make this investment," he said.
"At the end of last season our vice-president (Adriano Galliani) said that we would make one big signing before the new season and we have done that," Braida added.
But the Milan official suggested that Kaka may be eased into the squad gradually during the season.
"Bringing him in now allows him the chance to have a calm and gradual introduction into the side because we have a squad of 26 and we are pretty well covered," he added.
Rivaldo and Portugal's Rui Costa both operate in Kaka's favoured position behind the strikers although Kaka said he could also play in a deeper midfield role or as a support striker.
The Italian Serie A league season begins on August 31.
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