AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Kaka’s “extraordinary” performance as he operated as a makeshift full-back to help thwart Barcelona on Tuesday night.
For much of the Rossoneri’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona last night, Kaka found himself tracking back to help Kevin Constant, earning as many cheers and as much applause for the way he dealt with the threat of Lionel Messi as he received for setting up Robinho’s goal.
“I’ve played against Barcelona many times and I’ve understood the importance of their wide men,” Kaka explained in Gazzetta dello Sport. “Tactically, it was one of those games where we had to make sacrifices and I and [Valter] Birsa on the other side did that.
“Today, I needed to play as full-back. The coach knows where I like to play, but sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices.”
Kaka lasted 70 minutes on his first start for Milan at the San Siro since returning from his spell with Real Madrid. In that time, he showed some of the glimpses of the player who won over the fans and brought them to tears by bidding the club farewell in 2009.
“He played an extraordinary game,” Allegri said. “He showed what a champion he is. Yes, at times he even played as full-back -- to be a champion, you don’t only have to be good with your feet, but also with your head.”
Milan were largely able to restrict Barcelona’s threat and come away with a point that both clubs could be happy with.
“The lads played a good game and they conceded very little to Barcelona,” Allegri said. “We’ll try to get another good result at the Camp Nou, and then we have the most important games in the group to come.”
Milan are currently second in Group H, two points ahead of third-placed Celtic and four ahead of Ajax.