Brazilian footballing legend Kaka announced his retirement at the age of 35 years from all forms of football on 17th December via a public message on popular social networking website Instagram. The star uploaded a photograph with an emotional farewell message “Father,It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you! I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus name. Amem”.
The 2002 World Cup winner played his last match with MLS side Orlando City and received a hero’s farewell, even though his side lost 1-0 to Colombus Crew.
The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner was offered an extension in his playing contract by Orlando City and was flanked by offers from his previous clubs AC Milan and São Paulo. But the starlet had already made up his mind and exclaimed that it is the right time to hang his boots. Though he refused Milan’s offer, he expressed willingness towards taking up an off field role as a coach or a sporting director in future at Milan, the club where he spent six years and won the coveted UEFA Champions League in 2007.
The attacking midfielder rose to fame with Brazillian Club Sao Paulo and subsequently was a part of the World Cup winning squad in 2002.His prowess and skill on the ball landed him a deal with Italian giants AC Milan in 2003.Kaka prospered in Milan and became an integral part of the Milan Midfield. At Milan he won the Serie-A, the UEFA Champions League and Super Cup, the Supercoppa Italiana, FIFA Club World Cup. His stellar performance for Milan earned him a transfer move worth £59 million to Real Madrid in 2009. At Real he was instrumental in winning the La Liga in 2012 but he struggled with injuries during his 4 year spell at Real. After Real he briefly returned to AC Milan for an year and further played for Sao Paulo, before joining MLS side Orlando City and retiring there itself after playing for 2 years.
Kaka won numerous Individual awards like the FIFA World Player of the Year, Ballon d’Or, the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker awards. Besides football, his humanitarian work is often a topic of discussion. Furthermore, he was the youngest ambassador of the UNWFP and featured in the Time 100 list in 2008 and 2009.