Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Real roll out Kaka’s red carpet

US$94 MILLION MAN The Brazilian star insisted there would be no rivalry with fellow Real new boy Cristiano Ronaldo when he was presented to fans on Tuesday

REUTERS , MADRID

New Real Madrid player Kaka, center right, applauds fans during his presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AP

Kaka was officially presented as a Real Madrid player in a Hollywood-style show to around 50,000 fans at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Director general Jorge Valdano had promised president Florentino Perez’s second spell at the helm would be a “super-production” and they did not disappoint with the presentation of their first signing.

“It is a very special day for me. I hope I can write my name in the club’s history books with victories and conquests,” a slightly overawed Kaka said from a stage on the pitch.

The doors of the stadium had been thrown open to the public who packed the stands around a stage decorated with the club’s nine European Cups.

Perez was up first, greeted with chants from the fans as he thanked Kaka for choosing Real Madrid before the Brazilian was given a pop star welcome as he emerged to roars from the crowd.

The Brazilian was presented with the No. 8 shirt and had to be protected by bodyguards as he walked around the pitch to greet fans.

Some of them jumped over the barriers and tried to touch the former AC Milan player who cost Real 67 million euros (US$94 million).

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was signed for a world record fee of £80 million (US$132.7 million) last week, will be presented on Monday in another event covered live on television and Web sites across the world.

But Kaka said he was not worried that another big name signing would create tensions within the squad.

“It will be a privilege to play alongside him,” Kaka told a news conference.

“There won’t be any rivalry with Cristiano. We are compatible on and off the pitch. We are experienced players and there is no room for jealousy,” he said.

He went on to warn against the euphoria generated by the talk of a second “Galactico” era at Real Madrid.

“From my experience I have learned that talent alone is not enough. There are many talented players who have won nothing and others with less ability who have been successful,” he said. “It is good to have talented players but they have to sacrifice themselves for the team.”

Spain defender Raul Albiol, who joined Real for a reported fee of 15 million euros from Valencia, is expected to be presented later this week.

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