The 2006-2007 Champions League was to be a form of redemption for Milan. Beating Liverpool in a final not so long after the Istanbul debacle was relief of sorts for its fan, the team and its history too.
Milan didn’t blow teams away in the groups stage. The team did finish first but lost twice in a group H that featured Lille, AEK Athens and Anderlecht. The first knock out stage was only won 1-0 (aggregate) against Celtic. A bigger win came in the quarter finals when Bayern Munich were conquered 4-2 in aggregate.
Kaka had scored many and was in form. Manchester United would be the semi final opponents with the first leg in Manchester. A not so great early sequence led to Dida, in Milan goal, unable to save and both a deflected and diverted ball was credited as a Ronaldo goal. Kaka opened Milan’s scoring with an early touched that fooled Edwin van Der Sar in the Manchester goal and made it 1-1. Few minutes before the half the Brazilian gave Milan the lead. He took on a long pass and ran towards goal on the left side, three defenders converged on in attempt to stop the solo counter. Kaka danced between them and with both a touch and a low header beat Patrice Evra, Gabriel Heinze and Darren Fletcher and finally van Der Sar. The former two collided and all in the stadium witnessed a magical goal. The lead would not survive as Wayne Rooney would score twice. The return provide some dose of magic to set up another final versus Liverpool.
After the match Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester’s legendary Scottish manager, called Kaka one of the world’s best two players and tried to sign him more than once.
Extended highlights in the video below and the goal itself starting at 4:35.