Kaká

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This article is about the Brazilian footballer born 1982. For the Brazilian footballer born 1981, see Kaká (footballer born 1981). For other uses, see Kaka.
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Santos and the second or paternal family name is Leite.
Kaká
Kaka portrait, February 2009.jpg
Kaká in 2009
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
Date of birth (1982-04-22) 22 April 1982 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Gama, DF, Brazil
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
São Paulo (on loan from Orlando City)
Number 8
Youth career
1994–2000 São Paulo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 São Paulo 59 (23)
2003–2009 Milan 193 (70)
2009–2013 Real Madrid 85 (23)
2013–2014 Milan 30 (7)
2014– Orlando City 0 (0)
2014– São Paulo (loan) 0 (0)
National team
2001 Brazil U20 5 (1)
2002– Brazil 87 (29)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:06, 19 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁiˈkaɾdu iˈzɛksõw duˈsɐ̃tus ˈlejt͡ʃi]; born 22 April 1982), commonly known as Kaká (Portuguese: [kaˈka] ( )) or Ricardo Kaká,[3][4][5][6] is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for São Paulo FC on loan from Orlando City, as an attacking midfielder.

Kaká started his footballing career at the age of eight, when he began playing for a local club. At the time, he also played tennis,[7] and it was not until he moved on to São Paulo FC and signed his first professional contract with the club at the age of 15 that he chose to focus on football.

In 2003 he joined Milan for a fee of €8.5 million. While at Milan, Kaká won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007. After his success with Milan, Kaká joined Real Madrid for a transfer fee of €65 million.[8] At the time, this was the second highest transfer fee (in euros) ever, behind only the €75 million fee for Zinedine Zidane. After four seasons in Spain, he returned to Milan in 2013. He made his debut for the Brazil national team in 2002, and was selected for their victorious World Cup squad that year, as well as the 2006 and 2010 tournaments.

In addition to his contributions on the pitch, Kaká is known for his humanitarian work. In 2004, by the time of his appointment, he became the youngest ambassador of the UN World Food Programme.[9] For his contributions on and off the pitch, Kaká was named in the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people in 2008 and 2009.[10] Kaká was the first sportsperson to amass 10 million followers on Twitter.[11]

Early life

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite was born in Gama, in Brazil, to Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite (a civil engineer) and Simone dos Santos (an elementary school teacher).[12] He had a financially secure upbringing that allowed him to focus on both school and football at the same time.[13] His younger brother Rodrigo (best known as Digão) and cousin Eduardo Delani are also professional footballers.

When he was seven, Kaká's family moved to São Paulo.[14] His school had arranged him in a local youth club called "Alphaville," who qualified to the final in a local tournament.[15] There he was discovered by hometown club São Paulo FC, who offered an assignment.[16]

At the age of 18, Kaká suffered a career-threatening and possibly paralysis-inducing spinal fracture as a result of a swimming pool accident,[17][18] but remarkably made a full recovery. He attributes his recovery to God and has since tithed his income to his church.[18]

Club career

São Paulo

Kaká began his career with São Paulo at the age of eight. He signed a contract at fifteen and led the São Paulo youth squad to Copa de Juvenil glory. He made his senior side debut on 1 Feb 2001 and scored 12 goals in 27 appearances, in addition to leading São Paulo to its first and only Torneio Rio-São Paulo championship, in which he scored two goals in two minutes as a substitute against Botafogo in the final, which São Paulo won 2–1.

He scored 10 goals in 22 matches the following season, and by this time his performance was soon attracting attention from European clubs. Kaká made a total of 58 appearances for São Paulo, scoring 23 times.[19]

Milan

Kaká in Moscow

The steady European interest in Kaká culminated in his signing with the European champions, Italian club AC Milan, in 2003 for a fee of €8.5 million, described in retrospect as "peanuts" by club owner Silvio Berlusconi.[20] Within a month, he cracked the starting lineup, replacing Rui Costa in the attacking midfield playmaking position, behind strikers Jon Dahl Tomasson, Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko. His Serie A debut was in a 2–0 win over Ancona. He scored 10 goals in 30 appearances that season, also providing several important assists, such as the cross which lead to Shevchenko's title deciding headed goal, as Milan won the Scudetto and the UEFA Super Cup, whilst finishing as runner up in the Intercontinental Cup and the 2003 Supercoppa Italiana.[21] Milan also reached the semifinals of the Coppa Italia, losing out to eventual winners, Lazio, and were knocked out of the Quarter finals of the Champions League by Deportivo La Coruña. Due to his performances in his debut season, Kaká was nominated for both the Ballon d'Or (finishing in 15th place) and the FIFA World Player of the Year Awards (finishing in 9th place).

Kaká was a part of the five-man midfield in the 2004–05 season, usually playing in a withdrawn role behind striker Andriy Shevchenko. He was supported by Gattuso and Seedorf defensively, as well as Ambrosini, allowing Kaká as the attacking midfielder and Rui Costa or Pirlo as the deep-lying playmaker to be in charge of creating Milan's goalscoring chances, forming a formidable midfield unit in both Italy and Europe. Milan began the season by winning the Supercoppa Italiana against Lazio. He scored seven goals in 36 domestic appearances as Milan finished runner-up in the Scudetto race. Milan also reached the Quarter finals of the Coppa Italia that season. Kaká played a pivotal role in Milan's Champions League campaign that season, helping them to reach the final as favourites against Liverpool. Desite leading 3–0 at half time, Liverpool came back to tie the game and eventually won the match 3–2 on penalties after no goals in extra time, although Kaká was able to net his penalty. Despite Milan losing the 2004–05 Champions League final, Kaká was voted the best midfielder of the tournament, finishing as one of the second-best assist providers, with 4, including the long pass that led to Hernan Crespo's second goal in the final, after an exchange with Pirlo, to make the score 3–0 for Milan at half time. He also previously began the play that led to Crespo's first goal and Milan's second of the night and had won the freekick with which Pirlo assisted Paolo Maldini's opening goal after 50 seconds. Kaká was once again nominated for the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player Awards, finishing 9th and 8th in the respective rankings.

Kaká and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

2005–06 saw Kaká score his first hat-tricks in domestic competition. On 9 April 2006, he scored his first Rossoneri hat-trick against Chievo; all three goals were scored in the second half. The following season, he scored his first Champions League hat-trick in a 4–1 group stage win over the Belgian side Anderlecht. Milan were knocked out in the semifinals of the 2005–06 Champions League to eventual champions Barcelona and were once again eliminated in the Quarter Finals of the Coppa Italia. Milan also finished once again as Runner's up in Serie A, with Kaká scoring 17 goals in the league. After the 2006 Calciopoli scandal, however, Milan were deducted 30 points, which placed them in third place. Kaká was nominated for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year Awards for the third consecutive year, finishing 11th and 7th in the respective awards. He was also selected to be part of both the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFPro World XI for the first time in his career.

Andriy Shevchenko's departure to Chelsea for the 2006–07 season allowed Kaká to become the focal point of Milan's offense as he alternated between the midfield and forward positions, operating at times as a striker or as a second striker behind Inzaghi as well as in his more typical attacking midfield position. He finished as the top scorer in the 2006–07 Champions League campaign with ten goals. One of the goals helped the Rossoneri eliminate Celtic in the last 16 round on a 1–0 aggregate,[22] and three others proved fatal for Manchester United in the semi-finals, despite Milan losing the first leg.[23][24] Milan reached the semifinals of the Coppa Italia that season, losing out to winners Roma, and finished fourth in Serie A. Kaká added the UEFA Champions League title to his trophy case for the first time when Milan defeated Liverpool 2–1 on 23 May 2007, avenging the previous loss on penalties two years before. Though he went scoreless, he won a free kick that led to the first of Filippo Inzaghi's two goals, and provided the assist for the second. For his stellar play throughout the competition, he was voted the Vodafone Fans' Player of the Season in a poll of over 100,000 UEFA.com visitors. On 30 August, Kaká was named by UEFA as both the top forward of the 2006–07 Champions League season and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, as well as being named as part of the UEFA Team of the Year for the second time.[25] He once again finished as the second best assist provider of the Champions League, providing five, and was voted the 2007 IFFHS World's Best Playmaker.[26]

Kaká in action with Milan against Torino on 19 April 2009

Milan began the 2007–08 season by winning the UEFA Super Cup on 31 August, defeating Sevilla 3–1, with Kaká scoring the third goal. Kaká had made a dribbling run into Sevilla's area, winning a penalty, which he then proceeded to take. Although it was saved by Palop, Kaká scored on the rebound with a header. Kaká had previously hit the post in the first half.[27] He played his 200th career match with Milan in a 1–1 home draw with Catania on 30 September, and on 5 October, he was named the 2006–07 FIFPro World Player of the Year, and was elected as part of the FIFPro World XI. On 2 December 2007, Kaká became the eighth Milan player to win the Ballon d'Or, as he finished with a decisive 444 votes, long ahead of runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo.[28] He signed a contract extension through 2013 with Milan on 29 February 2008.[29] On 16 December, Kaká won the Club World Cup against Boca Juniors, scoring the Milan's third goal of the match in a 4–2 victory which allowed them to be crowned World Champions. Kaká had previously assisted Inzaghi's opening goal of the match and also assisted Inzaghi's final goal of the match after an impressive exchange with Seedorf.[30] On 17 December, Kaká was voted the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year with 1047 votes, ahead of Lionel Messi with 504 and Cristiano Ronaldo with 426, and was elected to be part of the FIFPro World XI for the second time in his career, also winning the FIFPro World Player of the Year Award.[31]

He's the complete player.

Pelé on Kaká after he was named the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year.[32]

Due to his contributions on and off the pitch, Time magazine named Kaká in the Time 100, a list of the world's 100 most influential people, on 2 May.[33] On 14 October, he cast his footprints into the Estádio do Maracanã's sidewalk of fame, in a section dedicated to the memory of the country's top players.[34] He won the honor again in 2009.[35] Kaká finished the 2007–08 season with 15 goals in Serie A and was nominated as a finalist for the FIFA World Player, finishing in fourth place, and was nominated for the Ballon d'Or, finishing in 8th place. He was elected to be part of the FIFPro World XI for the third time in his career.

BBC reported on 13 January 2009 that Manchester City made a bid for Kaká for over £100 million. Milan director Umberto Gandini replied that Milan would only discuss the matter if Kaká and Manchester City agreed to personal terms.[36] Kaká initially responded by telling reporters he wanted to "grow old" at Milan and dreamed of captaining the club one day, but later said, "If Milan want to sell me, I'll sit down and talk. I can say that as long as the club don't want to sell me, I'll definitely stay."[37] On 19 January, Silvio Berlusconi announced that Manchester City had officially ended their bid after a discussion between the clubs, and that Kaká would remain with Milan.[38] Milan supporters had protested outside the club headquarters earlier that evening, and later chanted outside Kaká's home, where he saluted them by flashing his jersey outside a window.[39] Kaká finished his final season with AC Milan by scoring 16 goals, allowing Milan to finish tied in second place with Juventus, once again being elected as a finalist for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, finishing in fourth place for the second consecutive year. He was also nominated for the Ballon D'Or award, finishing in sixth place, and was elected to be part of the UEFA Team of the Year for the third time in his career.

Real Madrid

Kaká during his presentation with Real Madrid

On 3 June 2009, Football Italia reported that newly elected Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez had offered Milan a €68.5 million deal for Kaká,[40] two days after the player had left for international duty with Brazil.[41] Milan vice president Adriano Galliani did not deny the reports, and confirmed that he and Kaká's father, Bosco Leite, had traveled to Mexico to meet with La Volpe. "We had lunch and spoke about Kaká. I don't deny it. Negotiations exist, but a deal has yet to be done."[42] On 4 June, Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport that financial reasons were his motive for the talks with La Volpe. "We cannot allow [Milan] to lose €70 million ... The reasons behind Kaká's departure would be economic."[42] On 8 June, Milan and Real Madrid confirmed Kaká has moved to the Bernabéu on a six-year deal.[43]

Kaká made his unofficial debut on 7 August 2009, in a 5–1 friendly victory against Toronto FC.[44] He scored his first goal for Madrid during a pre-season match on 19 August 2009, in a 5–0 victory against Borussia Dortmund.[45] Kaká later made his league debut on 29 August 2009 in a 3–2 win against Deportivo La Coruña.[46] He scored his first goal, a penalty kick, on 23 September, in a 2–0 win against Villarreal.[47] Real Madrid finished the season as Runner's-up in La Liga, with Kaká scoring 8 goals and providing 6 assists in La Liga, and 9 goals and 8 assists in all competitions.

On 5 August 2010, Real Madrid announced that Kaká had undergone a successful surgery on a long-standing left knee injury and would face up to four months on the sidelines.[48] Kaká returned to training after a long lay-off and manager Jose Mourinho said that having Kaká back was like a new signing.[49][50]

Kaká celebrating a goal with Real Madrid in a 4–1 home victory over Real Sociedad on 6 February 2011

After an eight-month absence, Kaká returned to play by entering as a substitute for Karim Benzema on the 77th minute of a 3–2 victory over Getafe on 3 January 2011. He said he was "(...) happy for playing a game again and for stepping onto a pitch."[51] His first league goal (and his first of the season) after his return from injury came with an assist from Cristiano Ronaldo on a 4–2 victory over Villareal on 9 January 2011.[52]

In March 2011, Kaká suffered from Iliotibial band syndrome which kept him sidelined for a few weeks. After returning from injury, he appeared in a convincing win over Valencia, scoring two goals. At the end of his second season with the club, Real Madrid and Kaká had won the Copa del Rey, although they finished as runners-up in both La Liga and in the Supercopa de España to rivals Barcelona. Real Madrid were also knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Barcelona in the semifinals of the competition. Kaká finished his season with 7 goals and 6 assists in all competitions in 20 appearances.

On 27 September 2011, Kaká experienced one of his best matches as a Real Madrid player during a 3–0 victory over Ajax in the Champions League, as he scored one goal, provided one assist and participated in one of the best team build-ups of the matchday: a counterattacking move involving Özil, Ronaldo and Benzema.[53] He was later chosen the best player of the Champions League Matchday.[54] With this match, Kaká experienced one of the best starts to a season he's ever had, scoring two goals, serving two assists and provoking one penalty for his team.[55] Real Madrid won La Liga with a record 100 points that year, with Kaká providing 9 assists and scoring 5 goals in the competition. They were, however, eliminated for the second year in a row in the semifinals of the Champions League, losing out to eventual runners-up Bayern Munich on penalties. The decisive misses for Real Madrid were by Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Sergio Ramos. Kaká was one of the top assist providers of the Champions League that season, providing 5 assists. He finished the season with 8 goals and 14 assists in all club competitions. Real Madrid were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey by the eventual winners, Barcelona.

Kaká with Real Madrid against Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid began the 2012–13 season by winning the 2012 Supercopa de España against rivals Barcelona. On 4 December 2012, after scoring in a 4–1 win against Ajax, Kaká became the top Brazilian goalscorer in Champions League history with 28 goals.[56] After the match, Kaká said "This was an important goal for me, and I hope I've still got goals left to help Real Madrid. It was an important win and a special night."[57] Kaká came on just before an hour was played, but was sent off as he was controversially booked twice within 18 minutes in a 0–0 draw against Osasuna on 12 January 2013.[58] It was his first sending off at Real since he joined from Milan in 2009 and his first red card since he was dismissed playing for Brazil against the Côte d'Ivoire at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[59] Real Madrid finished the season in second place in La Liga behind Barcelona and also finished runners-up in the Copa del Rey Final to Intercity rivals Atletico de Madrid. They were eliminated in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the third consecutive year, by eventual runners-up Borussia Dortmund.

On 29 August 2013, Kaká expressed his desire to leave Real Madrid,[60] having scored 32 goals and provided 32 assists in 120 appearances over four seasons at the club.[61][62] He said goodbye to Real Madrid and its fans in an open letter on Twitter.[63]

Return to Milan

Milan confirmed that Kaka would join the club on 2 September 2013 from Real Madrid on a free transfer with only performance-related incentives due to Madrid, after agreeing terms and signing a two-year contract.[64] Kaka's contract is worth €4 million net per year and was given the number 22 shirt, the same number he wore for Milan during his first spell.[65] He was also made the vice-captain upon his arrival.[66] He captained Milan in his debut for second spell, taking the armband from Marco Amelia in a match against FC Chiasso.[67]

Kaká tore his left adductor muscle during his first competitive appearance, and decided not to accept any wages while he regained fitness.[68] He made his return for Milan on 19 October after coming on as a 76th-minute substitute in a 1–0 home victory against Udinese. In his next match, on 22 October, Kaká assisted Robinho in the 1–1 home draw against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. His first goal, described by ESPN as "a sensational curling shot from the edge of the area into the top right-hand corner", opened the scoring in a 1–1 draw at home to Lazio on 30 October.[69] In 7 January 2014, Kaká scored his 100th total goal for Milan by an opening goal in a match against Atalanta, he later went on to score another goal 30 minutes later.[70] In June 2014, it was reported that Kaká had entered into advanced discussions with Orlando City to join the team in January of 2015 when they enter Major League Soccer.[71]

Orlando City

On 30 June 2014, Kaká had his Milan contract terminated through mutual consent despite having a year remaining, by activating a release clause as a result of the team not qualifying for European competitions. He joined future Major League Soccer franchise Orlando City as their first Designated Player. He stated that he had "always" wanted to play in the United States, and cited the Brazilian owner Flávio Augusto da Silva as a reason for signing. Until Orlando enters the league in 2015, Kaká is to be loaned to his first club São Paulo, which he calls "really satisfying".[72][73]

International career

Kaká with Brazil

Kaká was called up for the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, but the Brazilians crashed out to Ghana in the quarter-finals. Several months later, he made his debut for the senior Brazil squad in a friendly match against Bolivia on 31 January 2002. He was part of the 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning squad, but played only 25 minutes,[74] all of which were in the first round match against Costa Rica.

In 2003, Kaká was the captain for the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, where Brazil, competing with their under-23 team, finished as runner-up to Mexico. He scored three goals during the tournament. He was included in Brazil's squad for 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany. He appeared in all five matches and scored one goal in a 4–1 win over Argentina in the final.

Kaká started in his first FIFA World Cup finals in 2006 and scored his first and only goal of the tournament in Brazil's 1–0 victory over Croatia in Brazil's opener, for which he was named Man of the Match.[75] He was unable to keep up the momentum for the remainder of the tournament, as Brazil was eliminated by France in the quarter-finals. In a friendly against rivals Argentina on 3 September 2006, after entering as a substitute, he received the ball off a deflection from an Argentina corner kick and outran Lionel Messi while taking the ball down three quarters of the field to score.[76]

On 12 May 2007, citing an exhaustive schedule of Serie A, Champions League, and national team play, Kaká bowed out of the 2007 Copa América, which Brazil won.[77] After missing out on the Copa América, he returned to play in Brazil's friendly match against Algeria on 22 August 2007.

Kaká participated in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, marking his first international tournament since the 2006 World Cup. His only two goals came in Brazil's group stage opener against Egypt on 14 June, when he scored a goal in the fifth minute and then added a 90th-minute penalty in Brazil's 4–3 victory.[78] Kaká also provided two assists throughout the tournament. He received the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament at the Confederations Cup and was also named the Man of the Match in the final after helping Brazil to a 3–2 win against the United States.[79][80][81]

Kaká (left) playing for Brazil at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, during the match against Côte d'Ivoire on 20 June, Kaká received a controversial red card after receiving two yellow cards. The second card was given for an alleged elbow in the direction of Abdul Kader Keïta.[82] Kaká ended the tournament with three assists in total, as the joint-top assist provider, although he failed to score a goal during the tournament. Brazil eventually ended up losing 2–1 to World Cup runners-up the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

After more than one year absence from the national team, Kaká was recalled on 27 October 2011 for the friendly matches against Gabon and Egypt in November.[83] He later had to be removed from the squad due to an injury, and thus didn't play either of the matches.

After not appearing for Brazil in two years, Kaká was recalled on 28 September 2012 for the friendly matches against Iraq and Japan in October.[84] Following his recall to the Seleção squad, Kaká stated "I admit it was a surprise this call ... When the list was published, I was extremely happy. It was like my first call-up."[85] Brazil coach Mano Menezes stated that despite Kaká and Oscar's similarities, the two would be able to play alongside each other as Kaká had slightly changed his game.[86] On his return to national side, Kaká scored in both matches, a 6–0 win over Iraq[87] and a 4–0 win over Japan.[88] Kaká retained his place in the squad for Brazil's 1000th game in history, a 1–1 friendly draw against Colombia on 14 November 2012.[89]

On 5 March 2013, Kaká was called up by Brazilian national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the first time since the coach's return, for friendlies with Italy in London and Russia in Geneva, both taking place late in that month.[90][91]

Style of play

Kaká has been described on the FIFA website as having the "capacity to glide almost effortlessly past opponents, provide defence-splitting passes and score consistently from distance".[92] A quick, composed, balanced, highly skilful and creative team player, he possesses excellent close ball control, awareness and positioning, and is capable of beating defenders in one on one situations as well as creating space for team mates.[62] Kaká is also renowned for his vision, passing and dribbling ability.[93] Having performed predominantly as a playmaking attacking midfielder throughout his career, as well as other attacking positions, he is known for being capable of both scoring, creating and assisting goals, and is also an accurate penalty-kick taker.[94]

Personal life

Kaká with his wife Caroline
A pair of Kaká's Adidas boots, with a declaration of his Christian faith

Kaká married his childhood sweetheart Caroline Celico on 23 December 2005 at a Rebirth in Christ church in São Paulo.[95] The couple have two children: son Luca Celico Leite (born 10 June 2008) and[96] daughter Isabella (born 23 April 2011).[97]

Kaká was sworn in as an Italian citizen on 12 February 2007.[98] He features prominently in Adidas advertising and also has a modeling contract with Armani, the latter preventing him from appearing in a photo collection alongside his Milan teammates that was published by Dolce & Gabbana in early 2007.[99] He appeared on the cover of some regional editions of the EA Sports video game FIFA 11.[100]

Kaká cites Raí, the former Brazilian and São Paulo FC captain, as his footballing role model.[101][102] He is best friends with Marcelo Saragosa, who plays as a midfielder for the team D.C. United in the United States. They each served as the best man at the other's wedding.[103] He is also close friends with Radamel Falcao.[104]

Kaká is a devout evangelical Christian who was an active member of the São Paulo-based Rebirth in Christ Church.[105] He became engrossed in religion at the age of 12: "I learnt that it is faith that decides whether something will happen or not." He removed his jersey to reveal an "I Belong to Jesus" t-shirt and openly engaged in prayer moments after the final whistle of Brazil's 2002 World Cup, and Milan's 2004 Scudetto and 2007 Champions League triumphs. He also had the same phrase, along with "God Is Faithful," stitched onto the tongues of his boots.[106] During the postmatch celebration following Brazil's 4–1 win over Argentina in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup final, he and several of his teammates wore t-shirts that read "Jesus Loves You" in various languages. While receiving the FIFA World Footballer of the year in 2007 he said when he was young he just wanted to be a professional player for São Paulo and play one game for the Brazil national team but that "God gave [him] more than he ever asked for".[107] Though sharing a common goal, Kaká is not currently a formal member of the organization Atletas de Cristo ("Athletes of Christ").[108] In goal celebrations he usually points to the sky as a gesture of thanks to God. Kaká's favourite music is gospel,[109] and his favourite book is the Bible.[110] Since November 2004, he has served as an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN's World Food Programme, the youngest to do so at the time of his appointment.[9]

His nickname Kaká was created by his younger brother Digão's inability to pronounce "Ricardo" when they were young.[106]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played on 19 May 2014.[111]
Club Season League Cup Continental1 Other2 Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
São Paulo 2001 27 12 7 1 5 0 16 4 55 17
2002 22 9 9 6 17 8 48 23
2003 10 2 5 0 7 5 22 7
Total 59 23 21 7 5 0 40 17 125 47
Milan 2003–04 30 10 4 4 0 0 10 4 1 1 0 0 44 14 5
2004–05 36 7 5 1 0 0 13 2 4 1 0 0 51 9 9
2005–06 35 14 3 2 0 0 12 5 2 49 19 5
2006–07 31 8 6 2 0 0 15 10 5 48 18 11
2007–08 30 15 10 0 0 0 9 3 2 3 2 1 41 19 13
2008–09 31 16 9 1 0 1 4 0 2 36 16 12
Total 193 70 37 10 0 1 63 24 16 5 2 1 270 95 55
Real Madrid 2009–10 25 8 6 1 0 0 7 1 2 33 9 8
2010–11 14 7 5 3 0 0 3 0 1 20 7 6
2011–12 27 5 9 4 0 0 8 3 5 1 0 0 40 8 14
2012–13 19 3 3 2 1 0 6 1 1 0 0 0 27 5 4
Total 85 23 23 10 1 0 24 5 10 1 0 0 120 29 32
Milan 2013–14 30 7 4 1 0 0 6 2 1 37 9 5
Total 30 7 4 1 0 0 6 2 1 0 0 0 37 9 5
São Paulo 2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 368 123 64 42 8 1 97 30 26 46 19 1 551 179 92

1Continental competitions include the Copa Mercosul, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup
2Other tournaments include the Campeonato Paulista, Torneio Rio – São Paulo, Supercoppa Italiana, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup and FIFA Club World Cup

International appearances

As of 8 April 2014[112]
Brazil
Year Apps Goals
2002 5 1
2003 10 5
2004 8 3
2005 13 3
2006 11 5
2007 12 5
2008 3 1
2009 13 3
2010 7 1
2012 3 2
2013 2 0
Total 87 29

International goals

[113]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 2002-03-07 Cuiabá, Brazil  Iceland 6–1 Win Friendly
2. 2003-07-19 Miami, Florida, United States  Colombia 2–0 Win 2003 Gold Cup
3. 2003-07-19 Miami, Florida, United States  Colombia 2–0 Win 2003 Gold Cup
4. 2003-07-23 Miami, Florida, United States  United States 2–1 Win 2003 Gold Cup
5. 2003-09-07 Barranquilla, Colombia  Colombia 1–2 Win 2006 World Cup qualifier
6. 2003-10-11 Curitiba, Brazil  Uruguay 3–3 Draw 2006 World Cup qualifier
7. 2004-04-28 Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 1–4 Win Friendly
8. 2004-10-10 Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 2–5 Win 2006 World Cup qualifier
9. 2004-10-10 Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 2–5 Win 2006 World Cup qualifier
10. 2005-03-27 Goiânia, Brazil  Peru 1–0 Win 2006 World Cup qualifier
11. 2005-06-29 Frankfurt, Germany  Argentina 4–1 Win 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
12. 2005-11-10 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  United Arab Emirates 0–8 Win Friendly
13. 2006-06-04 Geneva, Switzerland  New Zealand 4–0 Win Friendly
14. 2006-06-13 Berlin, Germany  Croatia 1–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup
15. 2006-09-03 London, England  Argentina 3–0 Win Friendly
16. 2006-10-10 Stockholm, Sweden  Ecuador 2–1 Win Friendly
17. 2006-11-15 Basel, Switzerland   Switzerland 1–2 Win Friendly
18. 2007-03-24 Gothenburg, Sweden  Chile 4–0 Win Friendly
19. 2007-09-12 Foxborough, Massachusetts, United States  Mexico 3–1 Win Friendly
20. 2007-10-17 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  Ecuador 5–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualifier
21. 2007-10-17 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  Ecuador 5–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualifier
22. 2007-11-18 Lima, Peru  Peru 1–1 Draw 2010 World Cup qualifier
23. 2008-10-11 San Cristóbal, Venezuela  Venezuela 4–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualifier
24. 2009-06-06 Montevideo, Uruguay  Uruguay 4–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualifier
25. 2009-06-15 Bloemfontein, South Africa  Egypt 4–3 Win 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
26. 2010-06-07 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Tanzania 1–5 Win Friendly
27. 2012-10-11 Malmö, Sweden  Iraq 6–0 Win Friendly
28. 2012-10-16 Wrocław, Poland  Japan 4–0 Win Friendly

Honours

A Kaká-endorsed Adidas tracksuit top released for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Club

São Paulo[10]
Milan[10]
Real Madrid[10]

Country

Brazil[10]

Individual

Kaká holding the 2008 Samba d'Or

References

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External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andriy Shevchenko
UEFA Champions League top scorer
2006–07
Succeeded by
Cristiano Ronaldo
Preceded by
Christian Abbiati
AC Milan vice-captain
2013-
Succeeded by
Incumbent