It is time to shed a little light on my feelings towards Pato. I have been a getting a ton of mixed opinions from people on the child that Milan are currently pinning their future hopes on and I want to address them. For some Pato is the next Kaka, this is hard for me to swallow because Kaka is still young and no one is looking for his replacement at the moment. I do believe that Pato has unlimited potential, but at this moment he has done nothing for me or the club to prove anything. The money that was spent will not be justified until he does magnificent things for Milan, there is no doubt in my mind that he will and I certainly hope he becomes a great player, Brazilian or not, but I am the type of fan who wants results not potential results, I don’t know how you disagree with that.
The other opinion is that this was a bad move all together because of the amount of expectations that have already been placed on the player. Remember when Kaka arrived at Milan, it was with very little hype or fuss. Kaka was a player who was eased into the system and basically grew into the player he is with careful placement and coaching from the Milan staff. Kaka also had the help of many veteran players on the side that will still be there to help Pato, but not for all the years that Kaka has already had. Pato will get the opportunity to prove himself, but it must be calculated and precise because Serie A is a difficult league and can be even more difficult to flashy over priced youngsters.
I would like to further elaborate on Kaka because of the flurry of comments about his status as a Milan legend and world great on a few of my last postings. Kaka is an excellent talent and a key player on the side but I do feel that he is overrated at times and being considered the best player in the world is a bit premature. I am very thankful for his efforts in this years Champions league, but for me it was more of coming out party than anything else. Being one of the top five players in the world has to be a consistent effort on all fronts and not just in a game here or there. Players like Totti, Drogba, Dinho, Henry, and at one point Sheva go out game after game and pulverized the competition on both the club and national level. I remember Totti and Drogba last season draining goals in the league, Champions Cup, and domestic cups on a game in game out basis. Kaka just has not done that yet and until he does, he is just another great young player on the cusp of being a super talent. Kaka is in with the likes of Tevez, Messi, and even CRonaldo who I feel are full of potential but have yet to arrive on that consistent elite superstar level.
I will admit that Kaka is deeply ingrained in the core of the squad and without him the team would have a drastically different look but I do not personally believe that there would be no Milan without Kaka. AC Milan has always been a club with a strong core that is loyal to the club and to each other. Kaka is just beginning to take his responsibility in that core and with continued success and further consistency he will be in the elite class, but not yet. One major plus of Kaka is his constant humility and hard work to get better, if he passes that off to Pato, Milan will have a great tandem in the future but as a fan I cannot expect them both at an elite level in 07/08 but definitely beyond.