You will remember the name Garry Cook. He is the former Chief Executive of Manchester City, and is currently Executive Vice President of the UFC. Given the UFC's proclivity for over-hyping Irish sportspeople, it is unsurprising that Cook was hired by the organisation, as today is the seventh anniversary of Cook's most famous instance of Irish sporting hyperbole:
Seven years ago today: "Manchester City executive chairman Garry Cook says Kaka would have struggled to oust Stephen Ireland from the team."
— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) March 12, 2016
At the time, City were courting the twice European champion and had narrowly missed out on his signature the previous January. Cook then reassured those in attendance at a fans' forum that the club were not willing to give up on signing Kaka, although they need not worry about Ireland losing his place in the City midfield. Cook said that AC Milan had "bottled" the deal to sell Kaka to City, but that he would have struggled to break into a City midfield run by Stephen Ireland.
At the time, City had recently been taken over by the Shiekh Mansour, and were willing to spend up to 100 million pounds to make Kaka the blue-chip signing of the new regime.
Three months later, Real Madrid paid AC Milan €68 million for Kaka's services.
To be fair to Ireland, the 2008-09 season represented the zenith of his career and was voted as Manchester City's player of the year ahead of, erm, Elano.
It is still a fairly astonishing claim; incongruous at the time and increasingly delusional in retrospect. As it transpired, Kaka's best days were behind him by March 2009, but to claim that Ireland would be leading the Brazilian in the City midfield is ludicrous. For example, Kaka has collected one more Ballon D'or than Ireland.
In the pantheon of delusional Irish sporting claims, it is up there with Eamon Dunphy triumphantly proclaiming in the aftermath of Greece's victory at Euro 2004 that Ireland should go to the 2006 World Cup aiming to win the thing.
Sadly, Ireland did not even qualify for the competition, meaning we were denied the chance to see Ireland vs Kaka on the world stage. We feel there would have been one obvious winner on that one, despite Garry Cook's inevitable protestations to the contrary.