04 May, 2006
A tireless worker who is blessed with creativity, good passing skills and a fine shot, attacking midfield player Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite 'Kaká' moved to Italy in the summer of 2003 vowing to "combine Brazilian fantasy with the tactical discipline of
A tireless worker who is blessed with creativity, good passing skills and a fine shot, attacking midfield player Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite 'Kaká' moved to Italy in the summer of 2003 vowing to "combine Brazilian fantasy with the tactical discipline of European football".
After representing Brazil at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, he enjoyed a memorable breakthrough year in 2002, making his international debut against Bolivia before playing for his country at the FIFA World Cup. Since then he starred in the Brazilian Under-23 side that lost the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup final to Mexico and appeared regularly in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. He was not selected for the 2004 Copa América but played the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany.
Born in Brasilia in 1982, Kaká is a product of São Paulo FC, for whom he played socred 22 goals in 56 league games over three seasons. Completed an €8.5m move to European champions Milan in June 2003, after months of speculation. He signed a four-year contract.
2003: Excelled in his first season in Serie A, quickly establishing himself as regular and scoring ten times as Milan secured their 17th Scudetto. He was also an ever-present in their UEFA Champions League campaign.
2004/05: Missed only two league games, scoring seven goals as Milan finished runners-up to Juventus FC and played every Champions League match, scoring twice against FC Shakhtar Donetsk. In the final, his wonderful pass set up Hernán Crespo for his second goal and Milan's third, only for Liverpool FC to mount a stunning comeback and take the match to penalties despite Kaká converting his kick.
Did you know?
With his first touch of the game, Kaká scored Brazil's winning goal in their opening 2006 World Cup qualifier against Colombia.