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Ricardo Kaka and His Legacy

On his 36th birthday, we take a look back at his illustrious career which some might say had burned too bright and a little bit early.

Last updated: 23.04.2019
Ricardo Kaka and His Legacy | Sports Social Blog

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There have been a few players in history who can claim themselves to be a unique footballer, and Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, or simply Kaka, is one of them. The legendary Brazilian has played and shined as an attacking midfielder. Today, on his 36th birthday, we take a look back at his illustrious career which some might say had burned too bright and a little bit early.

Early Career and Rise –


His professional debut came at the age of 18, with Brazilian club Sao Paolo, in 2001. It did not take much time for him to show his potential and gain popularity among European football circle. He won a golden ball and was soon offered a transfer to the Italian giants AC Milan. In 2003, he joined AC Milan with a transfer fee of 8.5 million Euros. In AC Milan, he won the Italian league in the 2003-04 side with manager Carlo Ancelotti. He scored 10 goals in the first season and showed a great potential of an upcoming superstar. He showed great link-up and understanding with strikers like Inzaghi and Shevchenko and became the creative center for the team. AC Milan reached to the Champions League final in 2005, and Kaka was the top assist provider of the tournament. In 2007, Milan won the Champions League where Kaka played a major part as an assist provider, dribbler and goal scorer. He has won several personal awards as a testament to his abilities, including Ballon d’Or, FIFA Player of the Year and UEFA Player of the Year.

In 2002, he was in the world cup winning squad of his national team Brazil. He was a part of the 2006 and 2010 squads also, and he was the most assist provider of the 2010 world cup. He won 2005 and 2009 confederation cup with Brazil too, with a golden ball for the latter.

Later Career and Fall –

After a very promising early part of his career, he was transferred to Real Madrid in 2009. At that time, it was the second costliest transfer, which was said to be worth 67 million Euros. However, his Real Madrid transferred proved to be the demise of a very bright career. In the 4 years he was in Spain, his regular injuries ravaged his career, with a very demanding and competitive roster at Real Madrid, he found it hard to find his place at the starting squad. He re-joined Milan 2013, before joining Orlando City in the MLS before retiring in 2017.

Final Thoughts –

Kaka during his comparatively short-lived career made his own mark and earned his own place in the illustrious list of Brazilian footballers. In his day, he was the best play-maker, dribbler and his vision were unmatched. His abilities as a number 10 and a traditional passing midfielder were unparalleled. His unique legacy will live on.

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