Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero and Ezequiel Garay spoke exclusively to Goal.com following Real’s thrashing of Xerez. The pair have defended star midfielder Kaka, who has yet to open his goal scoring account
It’s hard to imagine that only a few months ago, at the start of the summer transfer window, Madridistas and their supporting media were whooping with delight after the capture of Kaka.
The Brazilian playmaker was the first super signing of the new Florentino Perez era, the shining example of football excellence that would sweep down from midfield, bursting with energy, straight into the penalty area to hammer in goals for Los Merengues.
The clean living, loyal player only left Milan because the Italian club needed the money, and he would only have gone to Real Madrid. Kaka was the Zinedine Zidane of the new era, the example of perfection both on and off the field whom Perez wanted to be a symbol of his new Madrid.
Yet just three months later - three league games and one Champions League match later - quiet whispers amongst sports journalists and among fans have been growing louder with each passing game.
In all these matches, Madrid have amassed a total of 16 strikes, but when is Brazil’s golden boy going to score his first goal?
Cristiano Ronaldo has just bagged four in two matches, even Guti, who was expecting a quite time on the bench this season, has chalked up three goals.
Such were the comparisons between Kaka’s start to the season and Ronaldo’s, that this weekend the Brazilian was quoted in the Spanish sports paper Diario AS. denying that he is in Ronaldo’s “shadow”.
Kaka affirmed that his main job is to assist the likes of Ronaldo to score, reminding fans, “We are winning matches and that is all that counts.”
The Brazilian assured all those having sleepless nights over their suddenly-goal shy midfielder, stating, “I will score at some point, but fans shouldn’t worry.”
And speaking to Goal.com after the Xerez encounter, both Garay and Granero stood firmly by their team mate
"Kaka is a player who you would say is a bit special. He’s a very good player. I believe that he has already made a very important mark on this team," Garay said enthusiastically.
Esteban Granero was equally quick to defend Kaka, pointing out that these are still early days in the new Galactico era.
“This is still a new team don’t forget,” he explained. "There are a lot of us new players here, but we are working well together in training. Little by little we are all getting to know each other better and hopefully little by little we will all play better and better.
"So [Kaka] hasn’t scored, but he has assisted in a lot of goals already. He will score, and when he does, he will score a lot of goals, that is for sure.
Granero stated that he can’t understand why there is this need to question Kaka for not having scored after only four competitive matches have been played.
"He has no need to rush and he is no hurry," Granero continued. "I mean, we won 5-0 [against Xerez], and there is no fault in the fact that he didn’t score a goal."
Asked if Kaka is a little nervous in the dressing room as he is the only star player not to have made a scoring start, Granero exclaimed, “No no no! Not at all,” and waved his hand as though swatting away the question like it was an irritating fly.
The comfortable victory against Xerez puts Madrid on top of the table for the first time this season, albeit only on goal difference.
Ashish Sharma, Goal.com