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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Milan’s new player De Catelier awarded Kaka’s comparison

MILAN ( Associated Press) — New AC Milan signing Charles de Catelair is honored by comparisons to former Rossneri hero Kaka and hopes he can achieve as much with the club as the Brazilian great.

The 21-year-old de Catelair was officially presented on Friday, shortly after completing a transfer of around 32 million euros ($32.5 million) from Club Brugge.

The talented playwright has signed a five-year contract with the Serie A champions.

Kaka played for Milan from 2003–09 – and again in the 2013–14 season – helping them to the 2007 Champions League trophy, when he was also the competition’s top goalscorer.

He won the World Cup as well as the Ballon d’Or and FIFA Player of the Year.

“I’ve seen a lot of Kaka’s videos, he was a great player,” said de Catelier. “I have my own characteristics, but I hope to contribute the same in what they did.

“Milan has a great history and traditions, many legends have played here, but I think it is right to focus on the future, as the club is doing.”

Milan’s focus on the future can be seen in the abundance of young players in their squad.

It was Milan’s mix of youth and experience that helped end his 11-year wait for the title, and De Catellare said was instrumental in his decision to join.

“It was important for me to see young players develop and perform well here,” said the Belgium international. “You see in recent times that young players get better here and they make the team better, so it was good to see that, and of course, the selection made a huge difference.

“The team has been strengthened by giving space and opportunities to the young players and I hope to get a chance here too.”

Milan have not won the Champions League since Kaka’s time and only returned to the competition last year after a long absence. But its return was brief as Rossoneri were eliminated in the group stage with only one match winning.

“Performing well in the Champions League is one of the objectives of this team,” said de Catellare. “It won’t be easy, but we will give our all to get into the group stage and be competitive in the knockout stages.”

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sport

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