Rivals

Wesley Sneijder vs Kaka: Who was better?

Sean Walsh
Kaka was one of the greats
Kaka was one of the greats / 90min
facebooktwitterreddit

There have been some incredible players who have played for Inter and Milan over the years, and Wesley Sneijder and Kaka are up there with the best of them.

It's a real shame that these two iconic number 10s never duelled in the Derby della Madonnina, with Kaka heading to Real Madrid just as Sneijder was departing the Santiago Bernabeu.

But now we at 90min are finally pitting these legends against each other. Who should be considered the superior player? Let's take a look at each man's career to find out.


1. Record in Italy

Image by Matthew Burt
Image by Matthew Burt /

We'll start with how both fared during their respective times in Italy, and boy there isn't a lot to split these two.

Would you believe that Kaka only won a single Serie A title with Milan? Well, he did. He had as many fifth-placed finishes as first-placed ones. He won as many Scudetto as he had games at Portsmouth's Fratton Park in the UEFA Cup.

Yet despite spending two-and-a-half years fewer in Italy, Sneijder was the more successful in the city of Milano, scooping six trophies to Kaka's five - only an extra Coppa Italia separates them.

Winner: Sneijder

2. Goals & assists

Kaka
Kaka scored goals for fun at Milan / New Press/GettyImages

What set Kaka apart from his peers wasn't just the way he glided across the pitch with pace and power, precision and elegance. He was also incredibly helpful with his goal and assist contributions.

The Brazilian would regularly put up double figures of goals and assists in the red and black of Milan, perfectly combining the skillsets of two of his finest competitors in Ronaldinho and Frank Lampard - he was as beautiful to watch as he was effective.

Sneijder, meanwhile, falls into the bracket of 'judge with your eyes, not the stats' brand of number 10. Good for him. He scored and assisted no more than nine goals a season at Inter.

Winner: Kaka

3. Set pieces

Wesley Sneijder
Sneijder was one of the best free-kick takers around / Giuseppe Bellini/GettyImages

Poor Kaka, despite being one of the finest players of his generation, was unfortunate to have played alongside so many set-piece specialists at Milan - none more impressive than the great Andrea Pirlo.

And while we reckon Kaka could have been a bigger threat from dead-ball situations, we know that Sneijder was one of the world's leading free-kick and corner takers.

A small matter, but one that falls the way of the Dutchman nonetheless.

Winner: Sneijder

4. Career honours

AC Milan's Brazilian midfielder Kaka pos
Kaka won the Ballon d'Or / PIERRE VERDY/GettyImages

We're sure that neither Kaka or Sneijder is losing sleep over how their careers panned out - both were hugely successful and will be remembered as legends.

They both managed to win the Champions League, league titles across Europe, countless individual honours and trophies, but there remains a couple of distinctions in their careers.

Kaka won football's biggest team prize - the World Cup - as well as its most prestigious individual honour - the Ballon d'Or. Sneijder, meanwhile, finished as a World Cup runner-up and is widely awarded the 'he should have won the Ballon d'Or' award (even though he shouldn't have won it).

Winner: Kaka

5. Results

Kaka
Kaka wins the fan voute / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

So with the two players locked level after our analysis, we decided to throw the decision out to all you football fans out there.

And now the results are in...

Your winner, with a whopping 76% of the fan votes is Kaka.


This article is part of 90min's Rivals series.

facebooktwitterreddit