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Kaka: Champions League All That's Left for Milan, February 19th, 2008 4PM



AC Milan striker Kaka, FIFA's reigning World Player of the Year, believes his team will be extra motivated for Wednesday's first-leg, second round game against Arsenal in the Champions League, because the prestigious European trophy is the last competition Milan has a chance of winning this season. "We are too far behind in Serie A, so the priority is completely to win the Champions League again," the 25-year-old said, adding that the Champions League is the most important of the year: "Win that and your names are etched down in history, far more so than if you win the domestic league."

Liverpool, which plays Milan neighbor Inter today, is in the same boat. Liverpool is too far behind EPL leader Arsenal to have a realistic shot at the league title, just as Milan is too far behind Inter to stand a shot at the Scudetto. For both teams (and possibly, both coaches, too) the Champions League is the last stand -- an interesting situation for the competition's reigning first and second-place teams.

Kaka added that Wednesday's clash with Arsenal "can be beautiful" because of each team's style of play. "This [series] against Arsenal will be open and more interesting than if Milan had been drawn against Liverpool or Chelsea, teams that play more in the traditional English style," he said, because Arsenal plays soccer "with style, changing position all the time, moving the ball among themselves so quickly."

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