Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko believes AC Milan’s Kaka is the best player in the world ahead of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Shevchenko played with 25-year-old Kaka at Milan before joining the Premiership champions last summer.
When asked, in an interview in La Gazzetta dello Sport, to choose between Brazil international Kaka and Portugal’s Ronaldo, Shevchenko did not hesitate.
“Kaka is the strongest player in the world,” said the 30-year-old Ukrainian.
“He deserves the Ballon D’Or (European player of the year award) and I’m certain he will get it, if not this time maybe in the not-too-distant future.”
Shevchenko believes his former team still have the upper hand in the race to reach the Champions League final despite losing 3-2 at Old Trafford in Tuesday’s semi-final first-leg against United.
“At Manchester, Milan played exceptional football in the first half and were hindered with the injuries to Gennaro Gattuso and Paolo Maldini,” he said.
“Milan are a likeable team because they always play beautiful games.
“They play open football and in the Champions League they have played better. There is a respect for their top players and for the club.
“Milan have what it takes to progress to the final.”
Shevchenko admits that meeting Milan in the final in Athens would be in some ways an ordeal for him.
“I still don’t want to think about it,” he said. “There are still games to play before the final.
“Of course, for me it would be a thrilling evening and complicated, because Milan is not my former team but a family, a part of my life.”