YOKOHAMA – Brazilian star Kaka masterminded Boca Juniors’ downfall as Italian powerhouse AC Milan beat the South American champions 4-2 to win the Club World Cup on Sunday.
Ballon d’Or winner Kaka scored once and set up two goals for Filippo Inzaghi to ensure the European champions became the first team to win the title of the world’s best club four times.
Victory was sweet for the Milanese, who lost in a penalty shootout to Boca at the 2003 Toyota Cup, the Club World Cup’s forerunner.
“I am really satisfied,” said Kaka. “This was the only trophy I wanted that was missing and I can’t put my feelings into words.”
“I have managed to get all the trophies that I thought would be difficult to win,” he added.
Inzaghi broke the deadlock for Milan after 21 minutes at International Stadium Yokohama before the Argentines made an immediate response through Rodrigo Palacio.
But Alessandro Nesta put Milan back in control and Kaka, tipped to add the World Player of the Year to his trophy cabinet on Monday, put the game out of reach with the third on 61 minutes before setting up Inzaghi for the fourth.
Milan had Kakha Kaladze sent off 13 minutes from time and Boca was gifted a late consolation when Massimo Ambrosini turned into his own net.
But Boca’s misery was compounded when Pablo Ledesma was sent off in the dying stages for a foul on Kaka.
Milan looked the hungrier of the two sides in the opening exchanges and Inzaghi dragged a shot just wide after a clever pass from Clarence Seedorf after five minutes.
But Inzhagi made no mistake after getting a second bite at the cherry, sidefooting a cross from Kaka into an empty net.
The Italians’ joy, however, proved short-lived. Claudio Morel Rodriguez collected a short corner and Palacio caught the Rossoneri defense napping to head home his pinpoint cross from the left flank on 22 minutes.
Milan continued to look the more dangerous after the break and Nesta hammered home on 50 minutes after Ambrosini had miscued Andrea Pirlo’s free kick.
Kaka cut inside to slip the third goal through Mauricio Caranta’s legs and helped on a Seedorf pass for Inzaghi to complete his brace with the simplest of finishes 10 minutes later.
AC Milan won the club world title in 1969, 1989 and 1990. It is also the first European team to win the revamped Club World Cup after Brazilian teams won the first two editions.
Sao Paulo beat Liverpool 1-0 in 2005 and Internacional stunned Barcelona by the same scoreline last year.
The club champions from FIFA’s six confederations are competing in the event that in 2005 replaced the Toyota Cup, a one-off match that had been played in Japan between the champions of South America and Europe until 2004.
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