The 35-year-old midfielder from Brazil, Kaká has announced his retirement from football. The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner took to his Twitter handle to announce his decision and said that he was “ready for the next journey”.
It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you! I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus name. Amem.
Foi muito mais do que eu pedi ou imaginei!Obrigado! Eis-me aqui para proxima jornada. Em nome de Jesus. Amem. pic.twitter.com/PofZBAV0BE
— Kaka (@KAKA) December 17, 2017
Kaká, also confirmed that he would not renew his contract with the Major League Soccer (MLS) side Orlando City.
The local media quoted Kaká as saying,
I am preparing to continue in football and to have a different role, but I will no longer be a professional player, an athlete.
I would like to take part in a club in a role more like… a manager, a sporting director – someone between the field and the club.
Here are some interesting facts about Kaká:
- Kaká made his professional club debut at age 18 at Sao Paulo FC in Brazil in 2001.
- He made his debut for the Brazil national team in 2002.
- In 2003, he joined Italian club AC Milan for a fee of € 8.5 million.
- He was included in Brazil’s squad for 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany. He appeared in all five matches and scored one goal in a 4–1 win over Argentina in the final.
- In 2007, he led Milan to win the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final and was the tournament’s top goal scorer.
- Following his success in the same year, Kaká won the FIFA World Player of the Year, the Ballon d’Or, the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year along with IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker awards. He was the last player other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to receive Ballon d’Or prize.
- After his success with Milan, Kaká joined Real Madrid for a transfer fee of € 67 million — the second highest transfer fee ever.
- In 2009, he won the Golden Ball Award. Kaká received 444 points from France Football magazine which organised the vote.
- Kaká is one of seven players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d’Or.
- He scored 29 goals in 92 international appearances for Brazil, although having been overlooked for the 2014 World Cup on home soil he was also ruled out of last year’s Copa America Centenario by injury.
Known for his creative passing, Kaká was the first sportsperson to amass 10 million followers on Twitter.