Former Milan and Brazil legend Kaka, a man who knows the pressure of wearing Brazil’s famous number ten shirt, has insisted that Lucas Paqueta is ‘ready’ to wear the number for the national team.
Like Kaka, Paqueta made the move from his native Brazil to Milan, with the 21-year-old costing I Rossoneri €35m in January, although has began to repay the Italian side by scoring one and providing three assists in his first 13 games.
With Paqueta’s form for the Serie A side earning him a call-up to Brazil’s senior team ahead of games against Panama and the Czech Republic – having earned his two previous caps for the Selecao in September – the former Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner claims he has seen enough of the young Milan midfielder to know he’ll adapt well to international football.
Speaking to Sky Sports, as quoted by Calciomercatio, he said: “Seeing this relationship between Milan and Brazil is beautiful. Paqueta grew up in Brazil, played in Flamengo and is now bringing this union between the Rossoneri and my land.
“The number ten 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.”
Paqueta will be hoping to get the chance to impress by national team manager Tite during the course of the international break, as preparations for the South American side gear towards this summer’s Copa America – a tournament Brazil haven’t won since 2007.