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Kaka is the Brazilian shining star whose light went out far too soon for his talent.
He won the Ballon d'Or in 2007 while playing for AC Milan and was the last player to win the award is before Messi and Ronaldo took over and made the accolade an elitist tussle between themselves.
However, it was largely downhill for Kaka in his later years.
The moment he put pen to paper and signed a contract with Real Madrid in 2009, in a deal reported to be £56.1 million, his magic on the pitch waned, dropping in the pecking order due to the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
And now the 35-year-old has spoken out about his particularly tricky period in Madrid, claiming that a fraught relationship with then Real manager Jose Mourinho didn't help matters.
"In 2009 I accepted the proposal of Real Madrid, but I was completely destroyed there because I could not give what I had given Milan, I was completely lost," he told UOL Esporte via Goal.
"Jose Mourinho was a difficult coach for me - we had a respectful but complicated relationship."
Despite being a pheromonal manager with an astounding trophy collection, Mourinho is a polarising figure, who takes a no-nonsense stance on players who he feels are underperforming, regardless whether they were an expensive transfer or are considered key members of the team.
This approach has seemed to have paid off for most of Mourinho's career: stories about how Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba have gone under the cosh are just the most recent in a long line of cases, Kaka being one of them.
"When I thought he would give me a chance, I couldn't prove to him that I was in good shape.
"I trained, I fought, and I prayed a lot, but having not received the confidence of the coach, I realised that I could not work with him, Kaka explained."
But despite this, Kaka admitted that Mourinho wasn't all bad. The Portugal boss even messaged Kaka to praising the star after the Portuguese's' departure.
"The joy I had was to receive a message when he left Real Madrid and said that I was one of the most professional players he worked with."
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