Kaka admitted Friday he is struggling to find his form since recovering from injury and returning to a Real Madrid side under growing pressure to win silverware.
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The Brazil playmaker has failed to make an impact since returning earlier this month from a layoff that started after the World Cup when he underwent knee surgery and rehabilitated a nagging groin problem. Kaka, who has scored once, has mostly been used as a substitute, only starting Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Almeria though he was replaced early in the second half.
”I’m very self-critical and I know I’m not at my best but I’m working toward getting into better shape,” Kaka said from a sponsor event Friday. ”I hope to be better as soon as possible – I’m just missing some added confidence on the field.”
Madrid trails Barcelona by four points in the league and is conscious of the possibility of meeting its biggest rival in the Copa del Rey final. Madrid plays Sevilla in the domestic cup semifinals, while Barcelona plays Almeria.
Madrid hasn’t won any silverware in more than two seasons.
”This is the year when we cannot not triumph – we have to win something,” the 28-year-old midfielder said.
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho pledged to see out the season with the Spanish league club Thursday but remained vague over his future. Kaka added further intrigue to the possibility the Portuguese coach could exit at the end of the season.
”Mou has been very clear with us – he told us: ‘Today I’m your coach and we’re going to fight for victory and at the end of the season we’ll see what happens,”’ Kaka said.
While Kaka said he expected more from himself, he also expected the same from Karim Benzema. The France striker has failed to impress since his arrival alongside Kaka in the summer of 2009 and his lack of form has kept him from seizing a starting spot while Gonzalo Higuain is missing to injury.
”I’d say that he could do a little bit more and that’s what is expected, but he’s a great player. You see his quality during training. He could be an important player for this club but that’ll depend on himself,” Kaka said.