Real Madrid CF have been boosted by the return of Kaká following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury, the Brazilian appearing in Monday's 3-2 Liga win at Getafe CF.
The 28-year-old featured for Brazil during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa but last played for Los Merengues in a league encounter against Athletic Club Bilbao on 8 May. Groin complaints and surgery on a troublesome left knee kept him out of club football for a total of 240 days.
After coming on as a second-half substitute for Karim Benzema in Monday night's league outing, the 2006/07 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year said: "I'm thrilled to be back on a football pitch; even playing just 20 minutes tonight was a special feeling.
"Returning with a victory is the best thing you can imagine.
I missed the joy you can only get from playing and now that I'm fit again I'm going to give everything to get that feeling back. To be honest, there were moments when I feared I would never return at all and everyone from my wife and my parents to my in-laws and friends know how hard things have been."
He can therefore sympathise with Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuaín, whose season remains in the balance after he suffered a suspected slipped disc. "When a player goes through a serious injury they feel very lonely but
being the great player that Higuaín is I can only hope that he'll be back playing as soon as possible."
A UEFA Champions League winner with AC Milan, Kaká is hoping to help the nine-time European Champion Clubs' Cup winners reach the quarter-finals of this year's tournament at the expense of Olympique Lyonnais.
"I understand that working my way back into this team is going to be tricky as they are playing well at the moment," he said. "But I'm eager to get back to the things I missed like playing in front of the fans and the great atmosphere in the dressing room. I'm ready to compete and win my place back."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.