Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite or better known as Kaka was born on April 22, 1982, in Brasilia, Brazil. He was born to Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite and Simone dos Santos. Kaka’s name came from his younger brother Rodrigo, who could not pronounce “Ricardo” properly and was only able to only recite “Kaka” instead to call his brother. Thus, Ricardo became attached to the name of “Kaka”.
Kaka was born to a family that had very good finance. His father was a former engineer and his mother was a former elementary school teacher. With the relatively high income, it was only natural that all of Kaka’s needs were fulfilled very well.
When he was seven years old, his family decided to move to Sao Paulo. Before officially joining the Sao Paulo academy, Kaka first joined a local club, Alphaville. Having special talents, Kaka managed to perform beautifully in Sao Paulo.
At the age of 18, Kaka had a terrible accident at the pool. Luckily, he was still able to recover and could continue his football career.
His growing game brought Kaka to join the Sao Paulo main team. Right in 2001, he debuted with the Brazilian team. In the following year, Kaka scored 10 goals in 22 appearances. His performance had attracted several big European clubs’ attention.
After the Italian club, AC Milan, offered a promising offer, Kaka officially signed a contract with il Rossonero in 2003. At that time, Milan had to spend up to 8.5 million euros to bring Kaka to the San Siro.
Before joining the red-black team, Kaka participated in the 2002 World Cup where the samba team succeeded as the champion.
Kaka made his Serie A debut with Milan when the San Siro-based team clashed with Ancona. In his first season, he successfully donated 10 goals in 30 appearances.
The 2004/05 season, Kaka donated the Italian Supercopa award to Milan. He closed the season with 7 goals in 36 appearances. Moreover, Kaka was also able to bring Milan to the top of the European Champions League party against Liverpool.
The following season, Kaka scored a hat trick in Serie A and the European Champions League. Meanwhile, in the 2006/07 season, Kaka ended with a score of 19 goals.
2007 was a perfect year for Kaka. He successfully donated the European Champions League award to Milan and entered the UEFA Team of the Year. The most important thing was that he became a player who was able to win the Ballon d’Or award before the dominance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The 2007/08 season, Kaka successfully donated the Club World Cup award to Milan. At that time, the Rossoneri managed to subvert Boca Juniors’ resistance in the final.
Following his brilliant performances, Kaka attracted the interest of the Spanish giants, Real Madrid. At a cost of 65 million pounds, Kaka officially landed at the Bernabeu in 2009. He also made his official debut with the El Real on 29 August 2009 against Deportivo de la Coruna.
He ended his first season with Los Galacticos with a score of 17 goals and 14 assists. After that, he suffered a severe injury and had to rest for approximately 8 months.
After returning to play, Kaka scored his first goal on January 9, 2011. His season with Real Madrid had failed. He could not continue his neat appearance while with Milan.
Because he felt unable to show his best game, Kaka ended his career in the capital city with a score of 29 goals and 32 assists in 120 appearances. Right in 2013, Kaka returned to the club that had raised him, AC Milan.
Going back to play with Milan, Kaka successfully netted his 100th goal for il Diavolo in the match against Atlanta.
Because he failed to find his best performance, Kaka left Milan and officially moved to one of the MLS clubs, Orlando City, before finally deciding to retire in December 2017.
As a footballer, Kaka is a very religious person. He often celebrated by raising his hands up in a form of gratitude to God.
Throughout his professional career, Kaka has received several prestigious awards. Among them, Ballon D’Or (2007), FIFA World Player of the Year (2007), MARCA Legend Award (2009), and AC Milan Hall of Fame (2010).