MADRID, Spain – Kaká isn’t going anywhere.
Real Madrid officials said this week they still support the Brazilian star midfielder despite a rash of injuries that have affected his form and playing time the past two seasons.
The 29-year-old has just 19 goals in 55 matches with the Spanish power. Still, club leaders said Kaká had no reason to worry during last month’s transfer window.
“I discussed it with (President Florentino Pérez) and (coach José) Mourinho," Kaká told reporters. "We talked and I was assured it was not going to happen. Speculation has always come. It’s not the first time the press said I was going, but I always say that my desire is to stay and succeed here. It’s what I want. I keep working and eventually people will see the truth.”
Kaká has shown flashes of regaining his elite form recently as Mourinho has opted to pair him in the central midfield with elite German playmaker Mesut Özil. The duo has powered Real Madrid to the top of the La Liga standings, seven points ahead of FC Barcelona.
“It is very easy to communicate with him because he is very intelligent and a pleasure to watch on the field,” Kaká told reporters. “He has also returned to play with great confidence and it is important for the team to make the most of that.”
Colombia’s Fredy Guarín out with calf injury
Fredy Guarín won’t be suiting up for Inter Milan anytime soon.
The Colombian national team star agreed to a loan from Portugal’s Porto to the Italian power last week, but has been diagnosed with a calf injury that could take up to four weeks to heal.
Guarín, 25, had 22 goals in 63 games with Porto and the midfielder was expected to add a scoring punch off the bench for the club.
“Do I like Guarín? Yes,” Inter Milan coach Claudio Ranieri told reporters. “He’s a player of great quality, physical presence and he can change the play – he’s just what we needed. Now, we just need time to ensure that he gets back into form. We hope to have him with us soon so he can begin to adapt to our football and give us what we want from him.”
The transfer agreement to send Guarín to Inter is a loan valued at nearly US$2 million, but Inter Milan will have an option to purchase his services on a full-time basis in July for US$ 14.4 million.
Guarín’s deal with Porto runs through the 2014 season.
“I am happy, really happy to be here in this great team,” Guarín told reporters.”Inter is a great big family. It is a matter of pride to me. Inter are an institution. For the moment I have only worn the blue and black shirt for the official photo and it was already a thrill for me. I really am very happy.”
Mexico’s El Tri books two games
It’s going to be a busy few months for Mexico.
El Tri, ranked No. 21 by FIFA, has agreed to play exhibition matches against No. 49 Wales and No. 19 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the United States this spring as part of a tune-up for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“This will be a great opportunity for the team to test themselves against one of the best teams from the Americas,” Wales manager Chris Coleman told reporters. “Mexico has plenty of top-class players and the way that the side adapts to the different style of play of our opponents will be interesting to watch.”
The Mexican Football Federation said the national team will meet Wales at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on May 27 before facing Bosnia-Herzegovina four days later in Chicago.
Mexico also already had agreed to face No. 35 Colombia in Miami, Fla., on Feb. 29.
The defending CONCACAF Gold Cup champions open World Cup qualifying on June 8 when they host No. 92 Guyana.