AC Milan legend Kaka believes Lucas Paqueta can write his own great story as Brazil’s number 10.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed since joining the Rossoneri from boyhood club Flamengo in January and is expected to make his first international start under Tite.
Who is Lucas Paqueta? Five things to know…
- Born in Rio de Janeiro (August 27, 1997).
- Made 65 appearances (13 goals and five assists) for hometown club Flamengo.
- Signed for Milan in January 2019 for a reported £31.5m.
- So far under Gennaro Gattuso, he’s made 13 appearances (one goal and two assists).
- Paqueta’s debut for Brazil came against USA (September 8, 2018); he’s won two caps to date.
Neymar’s absence through injury means the Seleção’s legendary number 10 shirt is available to be worn by another player for their friendly against Panama in Porto.
Brazil boss Tite hasn’t announced his line-up but the suggestions are that Paqueta will get the nod and given the illustrious history of that jersey it will mean so much to him.
Kaka, who donned the number to great success, is backing Paqueta, who continues the beautiful relationship between the five-time World Cup-winners and Milan.
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“Seeing this relationship between Milan and Brazil is beautiful,” he told Sky Sport.
“Paqueta grew up in Brazil, played in Flamengo and is now bringing this union between the Rossoneri and my land.
“The number 10 of the Brazilian national team? It is nice for him, he will write a great story. I think he is ready. But when you are on the field, the number on your shoulders doesn’t count.
“He is ready for the national team, he just needs to mature in his game but he has a good coach who knows the South Americans. Gattuso has helped him a lot, he is helping him too and he is growing in awareness.”
How is Paqueta getting on at AC Milan?
Before joining AC Milan from boyhood club Flamengo in January for a reported £31.5m the Rio native had collected two senior Brazil international caps.
Both of those appearances in September 2018, though, came off the bench: 2-0 v USA (19 minutes) and 5-0 v El Salvador (36 minutes). He’s yet to register a goal or assist for his country.
Since moving to Italy, he’s quickly become an integral part of Milan’s rejuvenation under Gattuso. Nominally an attacking midfielder Paqueta has made nine Serie A appearances so far and has bagged one goal.
However, it’s the promise that he’s shown, as well as the link-up with striker Krzysztof Piatek, which has got many including Kaka excited about the club’s future.