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Kaka makes surprise picks for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or

Brazil legend Kaka has ignored the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when naming his possible Ballon d’Or winning candidate. The duo have shared the individual gong over the past 10 years but Kaka is expecting something different this time around after witnessing players excel at the recent World Cup.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Kaka decided to exclude Messi and Ronaldo from his contender list and rather picked Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe, who were among the standout performers in Russia, he said: “Modric has had some impressive results, winning the Champions League and being able to play the World Cup final. He is the man who creates the show and commands the game, Mbappe is very strong and has a whole career ahead of him. Let the future be yours.”

8 Brazilians In The Premier League In 2018-2019

While Brazilian star Kaka never played in the English Premier League despite interest from top clubs over the years including Manchester City in 2017, a number of his former national team squad members have.

As the 2018-2019 season kicks off, we check out eight Brazilian stars – some current national team members, some emerging talents – who are set to make a mark this year.

Orlando City Dismiss Speculation of Kaka’s Managerial Appointment

Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao has confirmed that Brazilian midfielder Kaka is not a candidate for the role of the manager at the club. Jason Kreis’ time at the club ultimately came to an end after he was fired by the team. The Orlando City outfit are in the middle of a six-game losing run. Immediately after the dismissal of Jason Kreis, speculation began about the arrival of Kaka into the managerial setup. Regarded as one of the best Brazilian midfielders in recent decades, Kaka played at major league soccer for a couple of seasons before announcing his retirement back in December.

He has played four clubs like AC Milan and Real Madrid while also becoming the last player outside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. MLS is no stranger to having former greats as their managers.

Kaka open to AC Milan return

Brazil international Kaka has opened the possibility of a return to AC Milan in the future. The 36-year-old retired from his playing career in December last year but this has not ended his interest in associating with the beautiful game.

In a report covered by Calciomercato, Kaka admitted that he is prepared for the next phase of his career and he would fancy a backroom role with the Rossoneri, he said: "Let's see. I like football a lot, now I'm living away from there. But it is a necessary step because I am preparing a new phase. I'm very interested to go back to Milan, I do not know when, but it will happen, and I hope soon because Milan is my home."

France vs Croatia: World Cup Final Betting Tips

France take on Croatia in the World Cup final looking to win the competition for the first time since 1998. Considering that it is almost two decades since this event occurred, France are feeling extremely confident that it is once again their time to win the title. Croatia, though, enter into the final as the underdogs. They have also suffered a defeat against France back in 1998 semifinals and that could be a repeat of the same. Croatia have never been able to overcome France in any meeting.

However, the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic have displayed a huge amount of attacking potential for Croatia. The presence of midfielders like Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic makes it possible for the team to create chances for such forwards in abundance. However, France have been much more about taking one or two chances that come their way. The brilliance of Kylian Mbappe has also been a crucial factor in helping the French national team reach the finals. Manager Didier Deschamps, though, will demand a lot more from his other players like Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud if France are to win the title. One of the major problems for Croatia is the involvement in the extra time over the last three matches. This could clean them of valuable energy when it comes to this game. France are likely to take advantage of this fact and it is better to back a France title victory at 4/9.

Tite insists Gabriel Jesus will start ahead of Roberto Firmino at the World Cup

Brazil head coach Tite has confirmed that Gabriel Jesus remains the first-choice striker to lead the line for the Selecao at the World Cup despite the impressive form of Roberto Firmino this term. The Liverpool marksman has enjoyed the best spell of his professional career with 26 goals and 14 assists in all competitions but he still expected to play second fiddle to Jesus, who plys his trade for Manchester City.

Speaking in a press conference, Tite said: “Yes, it’s true what you said [that Firmino has had the more impressive campaign than Gabriel]. But [Jesus] came back [from injury] and is in great form. Initially, it’s Gabriel who will start.” Meanwhile, in an interview with ESPN Brazil, City boss Guardiola was asked about his opinion on the situation to which he said: “Tite has a problem. Not me. It’s his problem. But it’s a debate. An infinite discussion. Brazil has two incredible attackers, two fantastic strikers. Gabriel has an energy, a contagious desire. I believe this calms with age. Firmino is older but has been out of Brazil for some time.”

Kaka Reveals ‘Difficult Relationship’ With Jose Mourinho

Former Brazil international Kaka has admitted that he had a difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho during his unsuccessful playing career with Real Madrid. The attacker made a big-money switch to Los Blancos from AC Milan in the summer of 2009 but his career slumped thereafter with injuries hampering his progress.

Are Manchester United about to Splash out on Douglas Costa?

Manchester United have perhaps looked enviously at their closest rivals and realised that they also need to add some Brazilian flair to their ranks. Manchester City have Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho, while Liverpool have Roberto Firmino and recently captured Fabinho. Reports suggest that Jose Mourinho may be about to swoop for another hot talent from the South American nation in Douglas Costa.

According to the Metro, the United boss is about to offer Bayern Munich £79 million in an effort to sign their versatile winger. The Brazilian would significantly bolster Mourinho’s attacking options and help the Red Devils muster a more convincing title challenge in the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

Brazilian Legend Kaka Paid A Visit To Stadium St Petersburg

Brazilian legend Kaka paid a visit to the facilities of Stadium St Petersburg as part of Chinese TV’s build of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The hosts are busy with the final touches for the global tournament starting in June, and Kaka spoke about his experience during a visit to the stadium owned by Zenit St Petersburg, he said: “It's the first time I've been to Stadium St Petersburg and it's my first time in this city.

“I can see that everything is ready for the World Cup and it's important that this arena will remain a team's stadium after the tournament. I can't say that I know a lot about Zenit, but I know a bit because my friend Hulk played here. In the summer, I plan to come here again to watch a few matches.”

Usain Bolt Feels Neymar’s Absence Could Hamper Brazil’s World Cup Hopes

Olympic Athlete legend Usain Bolt believes Brazil are likely to struggle at this summer’s World Cup unless they can get Neymar back onto the pitch. The 31-year-old was offered an elusive chance to training on the pitch with Borussia Dortmund this week, and shortly after his session he discussed his favourites for the global tournament in Russia.

Speaking with Goal.com, Bolt highlighted that he won’t miss the opportunity of watching a few games in Russia. He added that he is a huge fan of Argentina, whom he would like to lift the World Cup, though Germany and Brazil could provide competition. Brazil were ousted at the semi-final stage of the tournament four years ago, and Bolt feels their chances lie on Neymar’s return to full fitness.

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