Former Real Madrid star Kaka has revealed that Mesut Özil helped contribute to his downfall at the club, as Jose Mourinho preferred the German playmaker in his team.

ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 05: Kaka #10 of Orlando City SC goes down with a leg injury during a MLS soccer match between New York City FC and Orlando City SC at the Orlando City Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

Kaka spent four years with Real Madrid, but he never found much consistency on the pitch. After 33 appearances in his first season, that number dropped to 20 in his second, then back up to 40 in his third, and down to 27 in his fourth.

The Brazilian says this was the biggest challenge of his time in Spain, and it was down to a mixture of injury problems and Mourinho’s preference for Özil.

“At Real Madrid the main problem was the lack of continuity on the field, mainly caused by injuries,” Kaka admitted. “I have always had good relations with Mourinho. I would have played a lot more, but he preferred to put Ozil in.

“[I said] it’s good, boss, that’s fine, but I think I can play and contribute in an important way. Ozil is a great player, but I’m available here.”

Jose Mourinho and Mesut Ozil
Madrid´s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho and Madrid’s German midfielder Mesut Oezil attend a press conference in Dortmund, western Germany on April 23, 2013, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match against Borussia Dortmund. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for Kaka, Özil really was a great player during his spell in Spain. In three seasons, he contributed to over 100 goals for Real Madrid, scoring 27 and assisting 80. Kaka didn’t come anywhere near that total in four seasons, with 68 goal contributions in total.

In the end, both Kaka and Özil left the club on exactly the same day, 2nd September 2013. The German joined Arsenal whilst the Brazilian returned to his former club, AC Milan.

It was a bit of a strange series of events, considering one of them would probably have ended up getting more chances with the other gone. That’s just how football goes sometimes though.