Monday, 14 January 2008

Milan in thrall to 'Ka-Pa-Ro' strike force

AC Milan had Brazilians Kaka, Pato and Ronaldo to thank as they finally ended their search for a first Serie A home win of the season against Napoli on Sunday.

The Brazilians shared four of the five goals, with Pato registering on his debut as Milan triumphed 5-2. The Italian press and Rossoneri fans are already discussing the 'Ka-Pa-Ro' trio in the same hushed tones as the 'Gre-No-Li' attack of the 1950s, comprising Swedes Nils Liedholm, Gunnar Nordahl and Gunnar Gren.

Memories are also being aroused of the all-Dutch forward line of Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten who shone under Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello in the 1980s and 1990s.

The 18-year-old Pato came to Italy with a huge reputation and no one was disappointed after his debut. "I want to dedicate the goal to my family and my girlfriend, I'm so happy," said the Brazilian forward.

"We played a good game and I'm happy about the compliments I have received but there was just one sensation on the pitch, and it was Ronaldo."

Two-time European Footballer of the Year Ronaldo has played only two league games this term, but silenced his critics by scoring twice against Napoli.

"Every player did well, especially Ronaldo," said coach Carlo Ancelotti. "Ronnie was something else. He's only been training for ten days. He showed great ability despite not being at his best." The 31-year-old former Inter player added: "I want to forget my injury and do the best I can. I really enjoyed the match."

While Pato and Ronaldo both made the headlines, it was Kaka's eighth league goal of the season - a 68th-minute shot from the edge of the area - which killed the match off at 4-2.

"I'm happy because the winter break has been very useful - we needed it," said the 25-year-old. "We have Ronaldo back and now we can count on Pato too. We are ready for the rest of the season."

Twelfth in Serie A, albeit with three games in hand on most of the sides above them, Milan face Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Source: UEFA

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