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Kaka upbeat about his return to national team

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 2:10 PM    

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SAO PAULO, Brazil  (AP) — Kaka is hoping he played well enough in his return to the Brazilian national team to win back a regular spot in the squad in the future.

The Real Madrid playmaker took advantage of his new chance by playing well and scoring a goal in each of Brazil's friendlies played in the last week. Brazil beat Iraq 6-0 in Sweden last Thursday and got past Japan 4-0 on Tuesday in Poland.

Kaka hadn't played for Brazil since the team's elimination in the quarterfinals of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"I liked the way I played," he said. "I feel like I contributed to the team in these two friendlies. I think I made the most of these two chances that I had and hopefully I'll get more opportunities for other matches in the future."

Kaka scored the fourth goal in Brazil's win over Japan. He made a run through the middle during a breakaway and cleared a defender just inside the area before sending a left-footed shot into the far corner. He also hit the post with a shot in the first half.

Kaka had scored a goal and set up another in the team's rout of Iraq last week.

"For me, these two matches were important," the 30-year-old Kaka said. "Having a sequence of matches like this helped me gain more rhythm. I think I added a lot to the team and I believe I can add even more in the future. I hope the coach liked what he saw."

Menezes said he did.

"Kaka returned like we expected him to return," the coach said. "Not only because of the goals, he played well tactically too. He was key for the team, he gave the team more personality and more quality."

Menezes had said that Kaka's past experience with the national team would be important to help raise the game of the squad's young promising stars like Neymar and Oscar.

Menezes had picked Kaka in a squad for friendlies last year, but the player didn't join the team because of an injury. He was called up this time despite playing sparingly with Real Madrid.

Kaka's next chance to play for Brazil will be in a friendly against Colombia on November 14 in the US.

Brazil will also face Argentina later in November, but only players from Brazilian clubs will be called up for that match.

The five-time world champions will host next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

Kaka was in the squad, which won the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and was a starter in the 2006 team, which was eliminated in the quarterfinals in the tournament in France.

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