Kaka warns Celtic | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2007

UEFA Champions League

Kaka warns Celtic


AC Milan playmaker Kaka displays his Ballon D'Or trophy at the Piazza del Duomo square in Milan on Sunday.Photo: AFP

New Ballon d'Or winner Kaka sent out a warning to Celtic ahead of the Scots' Champions League trip to the San Siro on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian playmaker was named Ballon d'Or winner on Sunday to cap a stunning season during which he inspired Milan to the Champions League crown with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in May.
But despite a less than impressive start to the Italian domestic season - Milan lie eighth and 16 points off champions, leaders and bitter city rivals Inter Milan - Kaka is hungry for more - and that spells bad news for Celtic.
Kaka has already won everything at club and international level but he wants to do it all over again, and the first step on that journey is to ensure top spot in the Champions League group D.
A draw will be enough for Milan to ensure they finish first, and also enough for Celtic to progress to the knock-out phase for the second year in a row, but given the Glaswegians last-gasp heroics against Shakhtar Donetsk last week, Milan won't want to take anything for a granted and will be aiming to win.
And Kaka certainly isn't in the mood to take his foot off the gas.
"I want to win everything again. I want to repeat everything I've already won: from the Champions League to the Ballon d'Or."
And Celtic need to watch out because Kaka just wants to get better.
"I hope to learn and to improve," he added, before moving to reassure his club's fans that he has no intention of leaving the San Siro.
"I have had many chances to move on for more money but I haven't done it. My future is here. I am happy to stay in Italy with Milan. I don't need to change teams. Our aim is to bring the Club World Cup back to Milan."
That could prove the biggest stumbling block to Milan's hopes of victory on Tuesday night - focus has already started to switch to Japan where the European champions begin their Club World Cup campaign on December 13.
With qualification for the second phase already assured, it would be easy to lose concentration, possibly playing into Celtic's hands.
However, the Scots' away form in Europe is abysmal and that could cost them a place in the second round.
If Shakhtar Donetsk beat Benfica at home on Tuesday, Celtic will have to get a point in Milan to avoid plying their trade in the UEFA Cup after the New Year.
Benfica have some motivation to earn a win in the Ukraine, though, as that would be enough for them to keep their European campaign alive by qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
But this is the fifth time that Celtic have reached the group stages of the Champions League and so far, in 14 away matches, they have lost 13 and drawn one - although that was against Barcelona three seasons ago.
Should Shakhtar win and Celtic lose, the Ukrainians will go through courtesy of their better head-to-head record, having won 2-0 at home and lost only 2-1 away.

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