Kaka on Jude Bellingham comparison, working with Carlo Ancelotti & more

  • Kaka spoke to 90min at Gatorade's 5v5 Fuel's Tomorrow event in Barnet
  • The footballing legend discussed Jude Bellingham's rise and Carlo Ancelotti's coaching methods
  • He also explained his role as a 'Confidence Coach'
Kaka was a Confidence Coach at Gatorade's 5v5 tournament
Kaka was a Confidence Coach at Gatorade's 5v5 tournament / Image courtesy of Gatorade

Kaka has admitted that it's a privilege to be compared to Jude Bellingham following the English star's impressive debut season at Real Madrid.

Signed for £115m last summer, despite being just 20 years old, Bellingham has become a genuine footballing superstar during his maiden season at the Santiago Bernabeu. Thanks to his whopping 23 goals and 11 assists throughout the 2023/24 season, the England international has helped Madrid back to the top of the European game - leading the team to La Liga and UEFA Champions League triumphs.

Bellingham's performances have notably led to comparisons between himself and some of the greatest attacking midfielders to ever play the game, with manager Carlo Ancelotti recently comparing the 20-year-old to Ballon d'Or winner Kaka.

Speaking exclusively to 90min at Gatorade's 5v5 Fuel's Tomorrow event - which brought together youngsters from all over the world to play in the country of the host city of the UEFA Champions League final - Kaka admitted that he felt honoured by the comparisons, saying:

"For me it's a privilege of course because Jude is doing really, really great.

Kaka giving a talk
Kaka giving a talk / Image courtesy of Gatorade

"Ancelotti has had a lot of players, he's known a lot of players as a coach, so he knows a lot and if he's comparing then I think it's true.

"As I said, I think Jude is doing really good. Even if I don't like comparisons much, because I think everyone is different, everyone has their own background and history, but to be compared to Jude it's a privilege.

"He's amazing, what he's doing not just now but also what he did with Dortmund and what he's done with the national team. He's building his career, it's really, really good."

Kaka took the time to discuss the man who made the comparison between himself and Bellingham too: Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian won his record fifth UEFA Champions League at Wembley Stadium thanks to Madrid's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, making him the most successful manager in the competition's history.

When asked what makes Ancelotti such a special coach, Kaka replied: "He's incredible. It's the way that he can manage people, that's what makes him so special. But every time we say that it makes it sound like he's not a good tactical coach, but he's amazing also with that.

"The way he manages people, the players, the squad, is ultimately what's really important, and that's what makes the difference."

Kaka worked as a Confidence Coach at the event
Kaka worked as a Confidence Coach at the event / Image courtesy of Gatorade

The legendary Brazilian footballer took part in Gatorade's 5v5 Fuel's Tomorrow event ahead of the UEFA Champions League final in London this past week.

The Fuel's Tomorrow programme is committed to helping 2.5m teens access the power of sport by 2023. Kaka was at the event to fulfil his special role as a 'Confidence Coach' for the competing youngsters, helping to inspire confidence and empower the next generation.

Discussing how he got involved as a confidence coach, Kaka said:

"For me it's really important to inspire these young kids, the new generation. I love this sport, I love football, so I know how football can change a life, how it can build character, so for me it's really important to have something like that."

Kaka was also keen to give share some advice to young athletes, naming the four things which are important when trying to become a professional football:

"Every time I have the opportunity to say something to the younger generation, and those are dreaming of becoming footballers, I try to highlight a few things that are really important: "Faith, discipline, motivation, and perseverance.

"It's really important to use those ingredients to build. I think, with those things, these kids will really increase their chances of having their dreams come true."

Mark Kirkham, SVP and SMO of PepsiCo International Beverages also spoke to 90min at the event, and explained the purpose of Gatorade's Fuel's Tomorrow programme: "It was started with the vision we have for what we can do to help young athletes, and to help grow sport in general," explained Mark.

"It's an idea that started at the core of the brand. It's about powering athletes and fuelling athletes for the future, but then we also did this research. We talked to 2,500 parents about what the barriers that their kids where running into with sport, and it allowed us to identify whether it's confidence, access, safety.

"Essentially, by doing that, we were able to identify that we could help 2.5m young players and athletes around the world. It's more than a purpose platform, it's fundamentally what the brand stands for."