Before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo simply took football by the scruff of the neck and made the prestigious Ballon d'Or a duopoly, there was one man lighting up the European game.
Elegant Brazilian midfielder Kaka was the star of perhaps the last great AC Milan team, one that lifted the Champions League back in 2007.
The former Sao Paulo man was the focal point of attack, a creator and a downright nice guy.
The same year Milan achieved European glory - they beat Liverpool in the final - Kaka was handed the Ballon d'Or award, the last man to do so that wasn't named Messi or Ronaldo.
No one can deny that his best days were with the Serie A side because a mega-money move to Real Madrid in 2009, coupled with some niggly injuries, saw him regress as a superstar.
He had moments of magic in the Spanish capital, but he was not the same all-conquering entity he was in Italy.
However, his fate could have been so different that year, due to the fact that Manchester City - fuelled by Sheikh Mansour's oil money - put in a ridiculous bid for him.
CITY'S MONSTER OFFER
They offered around £100m and a wage of £500,000-a-week for his services, which would have made him comfortably the world's most expensive player at the time.
But, the deal fell at the final hurdle and Kaka has finally revealed the one detail that was missing.
Speaking exclusively in Four Four Two's November edition, the Brazilian maestro says only his 'final word' was absent for the transfer to be completed.
“Negotiations went very far indeed," he said. "The only thing separating City and I was my final word.
“It came to the point where all of the numbers and the finer details had been discussed. The wages I had been offered were much, much higher than what I was earning with Milan.
"I found myself wondering what my life playing in England would be like, what my routine at this new club would be, how difficult it would be for my kids and my wife to move home. All of these thoughts were swirling inside my head.”
We were so close to seeing Kaka on English shores. All he had to do was say 'yes' and he would have been off to the Etihad.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgmsNews Now - Sport News