Early this week, coach Dunga announced KakÃÂ¡ was fundamental to his plans for the upcoming Olympic tournament in Beijing. But MilanÃ¢ÂÂs answer came as rapidly and predictably as a 3am picture of Amy Winehouse falling over: no, no, no. Backed by FifaÃ¢ÂÂs ruling, the Italians announced they wonÃ¢ÂÂt release the current World Best Player. They will make available only their under-23 athletes Ã¢ÂÂ in other words, Alexandre Pato.
The gaffer didnÃ¢ÂÂt like it, obviously. He complained KakÃÂ¡ should have made a bigger effort to convince the club to let him go, since the Olympics are BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs main goal in 2008.
Kaka (back) and Pato: "You go, son, I'll stay"
Poor Dunga. More than anyone, he should have known better. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to happen. After all, KakÃÂ¡Ã¢ÂÂs commitment to the national team, unfortunately, has been a plain joke. Generally, KakÃÂ¡ has been acting like heÃ¢ÂÂs very important to the SeleÃÂ§ÃÂ£o. He should learn itÃ¢ÂÂs the other way around for any player, from PelÃÂ© to Ronaldo, from Zico to Adriano.
Last year, he turned down the call to the Copa America. For those who donÃ¢ÂÂt remember, the Milan star said he was Ã¢ÂÂtiredÃ¢ÂÂ, and indeed was granted the rest. (Ronaldinho did the same thing. Meanwhile, Robinho and a fully-fledged Argentina showed up for the neighbourly clash in Venezuela.)
Personally, I warmly welcome the veto from the Italians. To me, BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs chance of gold in Beijing increases significantly if the Milan prima donna isnÃ¢ÂÂt around. If he goes, Dunga will build the squad to play around him. Just like in Germany, when he and Ronaldinho were supposed to be the stars Ã¢ÂÂ and all we got was deep frustration.
Now, itÃ¢ÂÂs RobinhoÃ¢ÂÂs turn to be BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs leader. The Madrid ace showed in Copa America that heÃ¢ÂÂs a natural, guiding a young team to the title by trashing star-filled Argentina 3-0. Besides, in the Olympics, he can team up with young gun Alexandre Pato Ã¢ÂÂ who, by the way, could do the job by himself, if needed. IÃ¢ÂÂve already said here PatoÃ¢ÂÂs the real deal; itÃ¢ÂÂs a matter of time until he takes on the lead in Milan. (AncelottiÃ¢ÂÂs departure from Rossoneri hot seat would surely speed things up.) If given the opportunity, Robinho and Alexandre Pato can start in Beijing a long and successful partnership. Ronaldinho and KakÃÂ¡ will be history before they make it.
Robinho and Pato: Brazil's present and future?