Kaka (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite) is a Brazilian football player who plays as an attacking midfielder or playmaker for Spanish and European powerhouse Real Madrid and for the Brazil national team.
Kaka commenced his career at the tender age of eight when he began playing for a local team. At the time he was also interested in tennis but after moving to Sao Paulo in 1994 to sign up for the youth team he became serious about football. However, at the age of 18 Kaka suffered a serious spinal fracture because of a swimming pool accident but he recovered and credits Jesus Christ with his recovery.
Kaka joined Milan from Sao Paulo right after Rossoneri’s 2003 Champions League victory for a transfer fee of 8.5 million euros and quickly established himself as one of the vital cogs in the team. He helped the Diavolo win Serie A in 2004 and inspired them to Champions League triumph in 2007. Kaka won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2007 for his performances.
In the summer of 2009 Spanish giants Real Madrid paid Milan 68.5 million euros for his services and made him the second most expensive footballer in the history of the game. Kaka struggled in his debut season in La Liga in 2009-10 and struggled with injury for much of the 2010-11 campaign.
Kaka made his international debut for Brazil in 2002 and was part of the squad that won the World Cup that year. He has since been a big player for the South American giants and helped them win the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2005 and 2009.
Kaka’s major individual achievements include:
- Serie A Footballer of the Year 2004
- Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year 2004 and 2006
- Champions League Best Midfielder 2004/05
- Champions League Top Scorer and Fans’ Player of the Season 2006/07
- Kicker “Best Player in the World”
- Gazzetta dello Sport “World’s Best Footballer”*Ballon d’Or 2007*FIFA World Player of the Year 2007