15 Facts About Kaka

1)    Kaka’s full name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite. His younger brother Digao’s inability to say Ricardo apparently led to him being called ‘Caca’, and because of that he is now known as Kaka throughout the world.

2)    In contrast to many South American soccer players, Kaka comes from a wealthy background which allowed him to focus on soccer and studies at the same time.

3)    When he was 18, Kaka fractured a vertebra in his spine in a swimming pool accident and there were fears that he would never walk again, let alone play soccer. Kaka is a devout Christian and puts his recovery down to the help of God. Ever since the accident he has given some of his income to the Church.

4)    Kaka’s favourite music is gospel and his favourite book the Bible.

5)    He started his career with Sao Paulo and was considered such a talent that he travelled with Brazil to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

6)    In his career with Sao Paulo he played 118 games and scored 58 goals.

7)    He married his long-time partner Caroline Celico in 2005 and they had their first child in June 2008.

8)    His first contract with AC Milan was worth US $12 million a season. While at the San Siro, Kaka won the 2003/04 Serie A (Italian league title) and the 2006/07 Champions League.

9)    Kaka’s brilliant individual displays in 2007 saw him win FIFA’s World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d’Or (European Player of the Year).

10)    Brother Digao is also a soccer player, but a far less successful one. A defender, Digao signed for Milan in 2005 and was loaned out to several clubs where he struggled to make the grade. Back in Brazil, Kaka paid for his education at the best college in Sao Paulo before Digao went professional.

11)    Since November 2004, Kaka has served as an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN’s World Food Program, the youngest to do so at the time of his appointment.

12)    Kaka moved to Real Madrid in the same summer as Cristiano Ronaldo, but he failed to genuinely hit the heights as a series of injuries and indifferent performances undermined his time at the Bernabeu. He did, however, help Real to the title in 2012, scoring five goals and providing seven assists.

13)    He spent time on loan at former clubs Milan and Sao Paulo, but became one of MLS’s most high profile signings when he agreed to join the Florida outfit.

14)    Kaka played 89 times for Brazil, scoring 29 goals. His favorite actually came in 2006 in a 3-0 friendly win over Argentina at the Emirates Stadium in London where he dribbled from his own half before dispatching the ball past Roberto Abbondanzieri. Sergio Aguero made his debut for Argentina in the same game.

15)    Kaka made his MLS debut in front of 62,510 people at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando City’s first ever game against another new franchise New York City FC and his deflected free-kick in the 91st minute earned a 1-1 draw in the most dramatic of circumstances.

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