The return of world player of the year Kaka has given Brazil a boost before they host Colombia in Rio de Janeiro in a South American FIFA World Cup™ qualifier on Wednesday.
Monday press reports raved about the star attacking midfielder, who scored the first goal in Brazil's 4-0 thrashing of Venezuela on Sunday night. The Jornal do Brasil newspaper reported: "With the return of Kaka, Brazil scored and created an atmoshpere of optimism," before adding: "Kaka wore the Brazil shirt with great style."
The 26-year-old AC Milan star returned to the international scene after an absence of 11 months, scoring after just five minutes for his 23rd international goal in his 60th appearance.
The Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, however, said it was delighted with the performance of Kaka but warned that the Colombia match on Wednesday would be a much tougher test. "Kaka went everywhere with finesse and he scored a goal," said the newspaper. "But Colombia will not be such an easy match."
Alfio Basile's Argentina travel to Santiago to play Chile on Wednesday following their 2-1 home win over Uruguay on Saturday night. Basile will be without star midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme, as the Boca Juniors player has amassed too many yellow cards and is suspended.
The leaders of the ten-nation qualifying group, Paraguay, have 20 points from nine matches, four ahead of second-placed Brazil and Argentina. They host Peru in Asuncion on Wednesday, having obtained a 1-0 away win in Colombia on Saturday to keep up their winning momentum.