Kaka: 10 Facts You Should Know

Ivan SoldoCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2010

Kaka: 10 Facts You Should Know

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    Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaka, is one of the best football players today.

    He is an amazing football player that currently plays for Real Madridthe most successful club in the world.

    Check out 10 the most interesting things about Kaka.

Kaka's birthday date

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    Kaka was born in 1982, on April 22th in city Brasilia.

    He started to play tennis, but he decided to focus on football, and he wasn't wrong.

Early Life

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    Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite was born in Brasilia to Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite (a civil engineer) and Simone dos Santos (an elementary school teacher)

    He had a financially-secure upbringing that allowed him to focus on both school and football at the same time.   His younger brother Rodrigo (best known as Digao) and cousin Eduardo Delani are also professional footballers.

    When he was seven, his family moved to Sao Paulo.

    His school had arranged him in a local youth club called "Alphaville," who qualified to the final in a local tournament.

    There he was discovered by hometown club Sao Paulo.

Nickname

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    Thanks to his younger brother Digao, Ricardo got nickname Kaka.

    Digao used to call  him "Caca" due to his inability to pronounce "Ricardo" when they were young; it eventually evolved into Kaka.

    While the word has no specific Portuguese translation, it does mean something unsavoury in his past home, Italy.

    In a lot of languages, Kaka actually means poop.

Sao Paulo

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    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 in January 2001 and scored 12 goals in 27 appearances,

    in addition to leading São Paulo to its first and only Torneio Rio-Sao 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.

Swimming Pool Accident

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    At the age of 18, Kaká suffered a career-threatening and possibly paralysis-inducing spinal fracture as a result of a swimming pool accident. He remarkably made a full recovery.

    Today, Kaka says that it was God's hand that saved his life.

AC Milan Adventure

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    AC Milan signed him for $8.5 million in 2003, a sum that owner Silvio Berlusconi described a few years ago as "peanuts".

    Milan gave him a chance to prove himself as the best football player.

    2003-2004: appearances 45 - goals 14 - assists 5

    2004-2005: appearances 51 - goals 9 - assists 7

    2005-2006: appearances 49 - goals 19 - assists 5

    2006-2007: appearances 48 - goals 18 - assists 9

    2007-2008: appearanecs 41 - goals 19 - assists 12

    2008-2009: appearances 36 - goals 16 - assists 10

    Kaka played total 270 matches for AC Milan and scored 95 goals.

    Ricky won everything with AC Milan.


Real Madrid

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    Summer 2009, Kaka completed his transfer to Real Madrid for € 68.5 million deal.

    He became part of  "new galacticos"

    Kaka's first season in Real Madrid didn't go well, because they didn't win any trophies. In La Liga, they were behind Barcelona. In the Champion's League, Lyon was better. In the Spanish Cup, they managed to lose against smaller division teams.

    He played 30 games and managed to score 9 times.

    On 5 August 2010, Real Madrid announced that Kaka had undergone successful surgery on a long-standing left knee injury, and would face up to four months on the sidelines.

Club Honours

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    Sao Paulo: Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo:  2001

                         Supercampeonato Paulista: 2002

                         Copa Sao Paulo de Juniores: 2000

    Milan:  Serie A: 2004

                 Italian Super Cup: 2004

                 Champions League: 2007

                 Uefa Super Cup : 2003,2007

                 Fifa Club World Cup:  2007

    Brazil: Fifa World Cup: 2002

                Fifa Confederation Cup: 2005,2009


Individual Honours

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    Revista Placar Bola de Ouro: 2002

    Campeonato Brasileiro: 2002 ( best player by position)

    CONCACAF Gold Cup : 2003 ( best XL)

    Serie A Foreign Footballer of the year: 2004,2006,2007

    Serie A Footballer of the year: 2004,2007

    Champions League Best Midfielder: 2005

    Uefa Team of the year: 2006,2007,2009

    FifPro World XL: 2006,2007,2008

     Champions League Top Scorer: 2007

    Champions League Best Forward: 2007

    UEFA Club Footballer of the year: 2007

    FifPro World Player of the year: 2007

    Golden Ball: 2007

    FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2007

    Toyota award: 2007

    FIFA World Player of the year: 2007

    Time 100: 2008,2009

    Maracana Hall Of Fame: 2008

    Samba d'Or : 2008

    FIFA Confederation Golden Ball: 2009

    and many more...

Personal Life

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    Kaká married his childhood sweetheart, Caroline Celico, on 23 December 2005 at a Rebirth in Christ church in Sao Paulo.

    Their first child, Luca Celico Leite, was born in São Paulo on 10 June 2008.

    Rai, the former Brazilian and Sao Paulo captain, has always been the footballing role model of Kaka.

    Kaká's best friend is fellow Brazilian Marcelo Saragosa who plays for Chivas USA.

    Kaká is a follower of the evangelical Rebirth in Christ Church and devout evangelical Christian.

    Kaká 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, Milan's 2004 Scudetto, and the 2007 Champion's League triumphs.

    In goal celebrations he usually points to the sky as a gesture of thanks to God.

    Kaka is a true role model for today's young people that want to become football players!