Kaka still hopeful of regaining Mourinho's trust
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Kaka said he is working hard to regain the trust of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and has not given up hope of becoming a regular starter at the Spanish club again.
The Brazil playmaker said in an interview aired by Globo TV on Sunday that he has a "professional relationship'' based on mutual respect with Mourinho.
"I've always respected his decisions and never questioned them,'' Kaka said. "I think that within every group it's normal that the coach will have more confidence in some players instead of others. But he made it clear that if I stayed at the club he would respect me and would give me as many chances as he would to the other players.''
The coach used Kaka sparingly this year and most of the time didn't even include the Brazilian playmaker among the team's bench players.
Kaka said he is hoping his hard work will make a difference.
"I arrive ahead of time to the practice sessions and I train by myself before the group practice,'' Kaka said. "I think the only way I can earn another opportunity is by practicing more than the other players, and that's what I've been doing.''
Kaka dismissed recent reports by Spanish media saying that Mourinho called the Brazilian player into a meeting and told him that he was not needed by the club anymore.
"The meeting happened but the published dialogue was not true,'' Kaka said. "The meeting happened so we could agree on a strategy for the transfer window, a strategy which would be good for me and for the club.''
Mourinho said after his Madrid's 3-0 victory over Granada in the Spanish league on Sunday that Kaka is not "dead weight'' on his squad.
"Nobody is,'' Mourinho said. "The squad is thin and neither Kaka nor anyone else is dead weight. The moment will arrive when Kaka will have to give it his all, so he will not be dead weight and be an option instead.''
The 30-year-old Kaka acknowledged that he would have likely have left Madrid if there had been the right offer for him and the club in the transfer window. Kaka said there was an offer from China and two from other teams in leagues in which he didn't want to play at this moment in his career.
"I think the (Real Madrid) fans started losing hope because things weren't happening,'' Kaka said. "But I haven't lost hope yet and I still think that a lot of good things will happen to me at this club.''
The world player of the year in 2007, Kaka said it feels like he has to start his career all over again despite his past achievements at club level and internationally. Kaka thrived with AC Milan before transferring to Madrid in 2009, and was a member of Brazil's squad when it won the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
"It's like in the beginning of my career, my motivation is different,'' Kaka said. "Today my goal is not to be a starter at Real Madrid. First, I just want to be in the list of players selected for matches.''
Kaka was on the bench again and didn't get to play in Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Granada on Sunday in the Spanish league.
He said he had doubts about whether it would be worth to go through the hassle of trying to prove himself at Madrid and acknowledged that he thought about pursuing other options.
"I asked myself whether this is really worth it, all this effort,'' Kaka said. "Maybe it would be better to go somewhere else, maybe to a less competitive league. But for now, I still want to stay.''
Kaka said he knows his return to the Brazilian team will depend on what happens at Madrid. He has been picked by Brazil coach Mano Menezes only once since the 2010 World Cup.
"I really want to return, but it will depend on how things go for me at the club,'' Kaka said. "I want to deserve to be in the national team again.''
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