Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano says he is not surprised to see Ricky Kaka improving in form now he is back at Milan.
The Argentine centre-back may come up against the Brazilian this Wednesday evening when Barca host Milan in the Champions League group stages.
For the 29-year-old, to see the former Real Madrid man showing improved form since his return to Italy is no surprise.
“I am not surprised by his improvement because I believe that football is 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent physical,” mused Mascherano on ExtraTime.
“And considering that Kaka has experienced with Milan his prime as a player, it is not possible to feel better anywhere else.
“I do not know if he will return to the best Kaka, but surely we will see a great Kaka, like the one we faced [at San Siro two weeks ago].”
Mascherano considered this week’s meeting at the Camp Nou, which sees Barca’s opponents arrive in miserable domestic form.
“They are a team of status, tradition and class. They have not had a good start to the season, but in their games the fact is that they have demonstrated something.
“Not only against us but also against Juventus. Whatever the result was [Milan lost 3-2], they played an interesting game and played one-on-one against Juve.”
Mascherano was asked how Barca’s own Brazilian signing last summer Neymar is settling in.
“He plays in the same position that he occupied at Santos and that helps. Also, he is a great guy. I had spoken with those who knew him and the references were great.
“He’s a guy with his feet on the ground, restrained and with good support.”