Has Kaka chosen football over money?

I read that Kaka – the much chased Manchester City AC Milan midfielder – has rejected the advances of Eastwood because he favours “football over money.”

It is a lyrical notion and one which the press has taken to heart in part of what is an increasingly ugly campaign to slap down Manchester’s blue club for deigning to rise above their station as perennial underachievers in the shadow of United. They may still be perennial underachievers but as the Red Devils look at a hole in their finance the Blues try patch holes in their team with seemingly limitless money. It may be crass, it may be gauche but it is also eclipsing.

However it is not happening and – we are told – Kaka who is owned by Jesus is staying to lead the life of a simple man in Milan. Well, perhaps not.

Kaka is hardly paid a small salary by Milan although figures of how much the Brazilian earns are hard to come by and warped by the exchange rate issues that heightened the proposed transfer fee in the first place. He is paid handsomely by Milan and is no one’s Peter Knowles but perhaps the maths of how much Kaka would and could earn at City are not as straightforward as one would think.

Milan played Portsmouth in this season’s UEFA Cup without ever having troubled the Champions League and while he is a good footballer no one seriously expects Kaka to be able to lift Manchester City into the top four this season. Assuming he could do next then his return to the top level of club football would come in autumn 2011 – hardly the stuff of merchandiser’s dreams.

Likewise his deals with Italian sportswear company Diadora are lucrative but depend on his high profile in relevant markets. Would they be as interested in a player who is playing Premier League football and no Champions League? What hit would have to take in image rights when other players are basked in glory and he is doing a good job at Eastlands? You do not see many people wearing Steven Ireland branded boots.

None of which is to say that Kaka has not knocked back Manchester City because he simply does not want to play for them but rather than the suggestion that he is some egalitarian Prince above the dirtiness of City’s money and away from the bad things in football is almost certainly in true. After all he continues to play for a club that were found guilty of charges much more serious than City’s being annoyingly rich.

Perhaps that is the secret of Kaka’s reluctance to leave Milan. He might not be the same without the Referees on his side.

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