Kaka’s seven-year-old son, Luca, was sidestepping David Luiz in Brazil’s training session this week, but it appears his old man is not ready to step aside from the national team to make way for the youth of tomorrow just yet.
The 33-year-old has rediscovered his golden flame in the MLS as Orlando City’s playmaker and has been handed the chance to pull on the golden jersey, once again, ahead of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.
The pair missed Brazil’s last squad due to injury – Coutinho with a groin problem and Firmino a bad back – but this time the call-up for the experienced Kaka and Neymar, returning from a four-game suspension, has forced them out of friendlies against Argentina and Peru.
Brazil’s Kaka plays with his son Luca (centre) during a training session in Sao Paulo on Tuesday
Kaka’s seven-year-old son, Luca, was sidestepping David Luiz in Brazil’s practice prior to Argentina
Kaka’s nine goals and seven assists for Orlando was not quite enough to guide them to the MLS playoffs, but it has shown Brazil manager Dunga that there is fitness and flair still in the former World Player of the Year.
Kaka told Sportsmail in an interview this year that he hoped the move stateside would rekindle his chances of a place in the national team and this has gone some way to justifying his decision to sign a three-and-a-half year deal when many felt he was taking the easy option
Orlando City playmaker Kaka hits a shot against the Chicago Fire at the Orlando Citrus Bowl
‘Kaka has demonstrated great leadership both on the field and in the locker room since the start, and the other players have naturally looked to his guidance throughout pre-season, so he was the natural pick to skipper the club,’ Orlando manager Adrian Heath said.
Kaka’s wisdom is benefiting 20-year-old forward Cyle Larin who was voted MLS Rookie of the Year for his 17 goals in 27 games this season. ‘When I first came to Orlando I was star-struck,’ Larin said of Kaka. ‘But not now. He’s my friend, he’s a great guy, he’s a very humble guy.
‘It’s a great experience to play with him. On and off the field, he helps me a lot. I watch how he plays so we can connect more and score goals.
‘It’s about being in the right positions, being right on to him, so when the ball comes I’m ready for it, because you never know when it’s coming.
The 33-year-old has rediscovered his golden flame in the MLS as Orlando City’s star player
‘I make sure I’m in the right spots for him to get it to me and to get it back to him.’
It is that same impact Dunga wants him to have on his squad, but the Brazil boss insisted he is there on merit of his ability too.
‘As always it is technical ability that decides whether a player joins the squad. Let’s enjoy the experience that he can share with the other players, but the technical ability will always carry greater weight.’
It looks like Coutinho and Firmino will have to bide their time, while little Luca will have to wait a little longer before he is the main No 10 in the family.