Wednesday 21 February 2018

Kaka insists he's on the ball for big kick-off as he dismisses injury fears

Kaka: No concerns
Kaka: No concerns

Mark Ogden

KAKA has dismissed fears that a persistent groin problem will curtail his World Cup involvement with Brazil.

The Real Madrid forward has endured an injury-hit season in Spain, but he claims he is fit and ready for action in South Africa.

"I am getting better every day. The injury doesn't bother me," he said.

"I was worried at first, but now I'm able to move around much better. I'm going through intense treatment and I will be fine for our opening game against North Korea."

Kaka has downplayed criticism from his team-mates about the World Cup ball.

Adidas' 'Jabulani' ball -- which means, 'to celebrate' in the Zulu language -- has been attacked for its erratic bounce and movement, but Kaka said: "It's a new ball, and everything new causes an impression. There have been some complaints, but maybe during the World Cup, players will start saying different things."

His Brazilian team-mate, goalkeeper Julio Cesar, had earlier said: "It's the same as the balls you buy in the supermarket" and Italian 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon added: "The trajectory is really unpredictable."

England midfielder Frank Lampard said: "The ball can move and fly over the bar. But, if you catch it right, even from a very long way out, you have a chance (of scoring)."

Elsewhere, Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci claims the world champions have been left "exhausted" by coach Marcello Lippi's pre-World Cup training regime.

The Italians suffered a friendly defeat against Mexico on Thursday and Bari defender Bonucci admits that Lippi has been demanding on the training pitch.

Bonucci said: "The defeat to Mexico was down to the fact we are exhausted from all the fitness training of the last few days.

"It's true that Marcello Lippi was very angry at half-time, but I must say we have worked so hard and right now we feel very tired." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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