Jamal Farid pulled off a brilliant nutmeg and ran off with the ball, leaving his opponent standing mortified. This was the ultimate humiliation, but what made it even sweeter was that his victim was Kaka.
Yes, you read that right. Kaka, the AC Milan and Brazil icon who scooped the Ballon d’Or in 2007, getting done on six-a-side pitches in north-east London. You may not have heard of Jamal Farid until this weekend, but if his name still doesn’t ring a bell you must have been hiding under a rock because his name has gone viral after his hilarious trick on one of the greatest footballers of a generation.
One of Hackney Wick’s longest-serving players, many are demanding he hangs up his boots now, insisting he will never beat the feat of sticking the ball through Kaka’s legs. Footage of the nutmeg has been shared everywhere on social media and the plaudits continue to be thrown his way.
“My phone has not stopped buzzing since Saturday midday,” he laughs as he speaks exclusively to The Sportsman. “This viral thing is really crazy. It’s so cool getting all this recognition from a lot of the big pages I follow, it’s kind of surreal seeing me on their pages.”
The former Real Madrid playmaker was clearly gutted as Farid got the better of him but was quick to smile and embrace the amateur player. “As you can see, Kaka is such a humble guy. He really congratulated me on the piece of skill and gave me my favourite moment which was the hug,” explained Farid, who is clearly still on cloud nine.
The South American was taking part in the kickaround in Hoxton as part of adidas’s showcase of their latest predator boot. “You called the @adidasuk rent-a-Pred hotline for a player, I answered. Thank you London, it was a pleasure! The #Predator is definitely 100% unfair!” Kaka, now 37, tweeted.
“It was a major shock seeing him walk through the gates,” says Farid. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get the chance to meet Kaka. It was such an honour being able to share the pitch with a Ballon d’Or, World Cup and Champions League winner.
“He still has that amazing technique that he used to destroy people with. It was the small things like his touches, his weight of pass and finishing that showed he’s still got it!”
Amusingly, another player, Abdullahi Ali Aden could be heard telling Kaka to "cut back, cut back" before the former playmaker ignored the advice to lash the ball into the corner of the net from distance.
"So the goal Kaka scores, it started off as a counter attack," he explains. "I carried the ball about seven or eight yards and gave it to him thinking he’d go on a graceful run (as we’ve seen over the years), but after finding myself in a fair bit of space I decided to let him know I was on!
"That’s normal in football and I’m very vocal whilst playing so I didn’t even realise what I'd said until I got home and people we’re asking: 'Isn’t that you asking to cut it back?'
"That’s when I realised the magnitude of asking a Ballon D’or winner to cut it back just before he smashes it top bins," he laughed. "He definitely made me eat my words when he scored, which will go down as the best 'L' I’ll ever take!"
Kaka retired from football in 2017, finishing his career in the United States with MLS side Orlando City. Having made his name with Milan, scoring some stunning solo goals against Celtic and Manchester United in the Champions League run which would see the Rossoneri lift the 2007 crown, he joined Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £56million, the second-highest transfer ever at the time.
Of course, playing with such a superstar was surreal for Farid but, even having watched him playing on television all these years, one thing in particular really stood out. “Kaka is a tall fella,” he laughs. “I didn’t expect him to be so tall! He’s a good 6’1” I think, he just comes across as such a nice man. He’s still an amazing player.
“Overall it was just an amazing day, being able to meet Kaka, shake his hand, share the pitch with him, everything!” says Farid. “I really played with a real, all-time great.”
It’s a day he’ll never forget and, make no mistake, he will be dining out on the fact he nutmegged the Kaka for a very long time. “I’ve told my friends I’m not paying for my meals ever again, either those guys are paying or it’s on the house,” he adds.
Kaka actually scored twice and set up another two on Saturday, but it’s that nutmeg in the centre of the park which everyone is talking about and Jamal Farid will remember forever.