Brazilian playmaker Kaka admits Brazil may need a little help from above if they are to win the World Cup.
Kaka, a devout Christian, speaks exclusively to FourFourTwo in the new issue – out now – and confesses it takes more than skill to succeed at the highest level.
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“In 2006, we lost 1-0 to France in the quarter-finals,” remembers Kaka, who was 24 at the time. “It was not what anyone expected. We had so many talents in that team, but talent isn’t enough.
“You need to be well prepeared and you need other things, like luck. If you prepare well and have a high level of talent, you are likely to be luckier.”
There is only one place Kaka himself looks for this luck, and that’s to the heavens. “I pray and try to speak to God [during a game],” he tells FourFourTwo. “’Please let us win this game!’ I say.”
Respected and feared around the world, Brazil have found it more difficult to win over fans back home.
Under coach Dunga, there has been criticism that a side containing such stylish and skilful players as Dani Alves, Robinho and of course Kaka himself, is playing for dour 1-0 victories. It’s not the first time, either.
Dunga captained the national team to World Cup glory in 1994 but the football on display was anything other than that associated with the Samba Kings – fans labelled the side “Boring Brazil” despite bringing home the coveted trophy.
“The way we play is very important in Brazil,” acknowledges Kaka. “Many people remember the 1982 side [featuring legends Zico, Eder and Socrates] with more affection than the Brazil side which won in 1994.”
It doesn’t matter to Brazilians that in 1982, their much-hallowed team went out in the second group stage.
But Kaka isn’t worried. “When [Dunga] started, nobody believed he could be a good coach. They don’t doubt him after we won the Copa America, the Confederations Cup and finished top of our qualification group.
“Because he was recently a player, he knows how we feel – what we like and don’t like.”
The full interview with Kaka, and 31 other World Cup stars including David Villa, Steven Gerrard and Lionel Messi, is in the July issue of FourFourTwo, out now.
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