When Kaka made Liverpool pay for the 2005 CL final with masterclass two years later
"Honestly, years later I still can't understand how we managed to lose that game,” Kaka told reporters last year, when asked what happened in the 2005 Champions League final. “We had the best defenders in the world in that team.
"Our back four was Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini but we still let in three goals in six minutes. Something amazing happened that can't be explained.”
Kaka is still haunted by what happened in Istanbul 12 years ago, when Liverpool came from 3-0 down against AC Milan to record arguably the most remarkable comeback in the history of the European Cup.
But as he prepares to hang up his boots, the Brazilian playmaker can rest easy knowing that he helped Milan exact revenge over Liverpool in Athens two years later.
Kaka produced a masterclass against Liverpool
Kaka, at the peak of his powers, may not have picked up the Man of the Match award for the 2007 Champions League final but he still produced a masterclass against the English side.
Filippo Inzaghi was named Man of the Match after scoring the two goals that helped Milan become European champions for the seventh time in their illustrious history; however, it’s telling that it was Kaka who finished the year with the Ballon d’Or.
The South American is the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to land his hands on world football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
And he won it, thanks largely, to this stunning performance.
Video: Kaka v Liverpool in the 2007 CL final
Watch Kaka’s individual highlights from the 2007 Champions League final here…
It was Kaka who provided the assist for Inzaghi’s opener on the stroke of half-time. His perfectly-weighted through ball left his teammate with a reasonably simple finish.
And although the Brazilian didn’t manage to get himself on the scoresheet, he still terrorised the Liverpool players for 90 minutes.
He also finished the match with that epic celebration, knees on the turf, hands raised to the heavens with his ‘I Belong To Jesus’ t-shirt on.