Kaka: 10 Facts You Should Know
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 Madrid—the most successful club in the world.
Check out 10 the most interesting things about Kaka.
Kaka's birthday date
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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...
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!