Jun 9, 2009

Real Madrid land Kaka

The dream is now a reality: Kaka, one of the best players on the planet, is now a Madridista

Alvaro Velasco / Translation by realmadrid.com

Madridistas everywhere have been waiting a long time for the news, and finally it is a reality. Kaka, who many consider the best footballer on the planet, now plays for Real Madrid. But the dream has been a two-way street because Kaka wanted to add his name to the Real Madrid history books. What Kaka has already accomplished throughout his career is discussed in his profile, and what he does from here on out will only add to his legend and that of Real Madrid.

Kaka is the complete package. His vision of the game is unparalleled and his shooting ability strikes fear into opponents. No one in Europe can control the tempo like the Brazilian. He is a consistent assist-man who concludes every season with more than a handful of goals. Kaka’s leadership skills allow him to shoulder any responsibilities that may arise. He’s a man whose football career has been based on his quiet, out-of-the-spotlight life and strong religious convictions.

Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos, Kaka, was born on 22 April 1982 in Brasilia and raised in Sao Paulo. In Brazil, Kaka is a common nickname for those named Ricardo, and it’s what Rodrigo, Kaka’s younger brother and also a football player, would call him. Kaka had a privileged childhood and his well-to-do family provided him with a good education. The most challenging time of his early years took place when he was 18 and suffered a career-threatening spinal fracture as a result of a swimming pool accident. Fortunatelty, however, no serious harm was done and he made a full recovery.

During his youth team years, Kaka tended to stand out above the rest. Sao Paulo first took notice and by 2001 he had earned a starting spot with the first team, played in 27 matches and scored 12 goals. The following season he knocked in ten goals in 22 matches. After leading Sao Paulo to the Super Campeonato Paulista title in 2002, Kaka debuted with the Brazilian national team. By then, steady European interest in the 21-year old culminated in his signing with AC Milan.

During his first year with the Italian giants, Kaka played in 30 matches and scored ten goals en route to the Scudetto and Italian Super Cup. A Milan squad with players of the likes of Nesta, Maldini, Pirlo, Seedorf, Inzaghi and Shevchenko looked on as Kaka took over the role of team leader. In 2005, the attacking midfielder almost single-handedly carried his team to the Champions League final, which Milan lost in a penalty shootout against Liverpool.

In 2007, Kaka became the focal point of Milan’s offense and added Champions League and Club World Cup titles to his trophy case. That same year he went on to win all the top individual accolades, including the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFPro World Player of the Year.

Kaka made his debut for Brazil in a 2002 friendly against Bolivia. That summer he was a member of the 2002 World Cup-winning squad but received very little playing time. In 2005, Kaka was included in Brazil’s squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup and played all five matches, including a goal-scoring performance in the final, while in 2006 he started in his first World Cup. He has been a Seleção mainstay ever since.