Ronaldinho rumpus the straw that could break Kaka's back
So 2009 is upon us and it's out with the old and in with the new in Serie A.
Ricky Kaka, for one, will be glad to see the back of 2008. The big question now is what will the New Year hold for the Brazilian superstar?
One thing is certain, with the way events have been unfolding at AC Milan, the spectre of Real Madrid and Chelsea will loom large once again.
Kaka fell to the curse of the Golden Ball after being named European Player of the Year in 2007: a loss of form compounded by niggling injury problems, tactical changes which saw him shunted out to the flank, and then losing his star status to a Barcelona reject.
Kaka puts on a brave face with Milan's new head boy
It has been the arrival of Ronaldinho at the San Siro and his subsequent benediction by everyone from Silvio Berlusconi downwards that could be the straw that breaks the camels back once and for all.
Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂd pay to watch Ronaldinho play anytime,Ã¢ÂÂ was just one of BerlusconiÃ¢ÂÂs glowing appraisals of his new darling.
For all their public camaraderie, you could not wish to witness two different Brazilian characters, both on and off the pitch: the party man and the family guy, the show-boater and the pragmatist.
Kaka is probably still the best player on the planet and, at 26-years-old, is coming into his prime.
Milan set him on the road to where he is now, with his goals and phenomenal performances catapulting the Rossoneri back to the top of the world game.
As he has always said when asked about his future, Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂll stay at Milan as long as our objectives are the same.Ã¢ÂÂ
"Beckham Schmeckham, he's only here for two months anyway..."
And it now has to be questioned whether both parties are still on the same page, particularly in the light of the effort and hubbub the club put into securing David Beckham for just two months.
Brand Becks, Brand Ronie, where does this leave Brand Kaka?
If Milan donÃ¢ÂÂt make their best player feel wanted, the suitors from Madrid and London certainly will.