Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Kaka
Ricardo Izecson, famously known as Kaka is a Brazilian former professional footballer who played as an attacking middle fielder.
He is considered one of the best players of his generation with success at club and international levels.
He is one of the incredible eight players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and the Ballon d’Or.
Here are the top 10 fascinating facts about Kaka.
1. He was from a wealthy family
Kaka was born in Brasilia to a father who was a civil engineer and a mother who was an elementary school teacher.
Though many people believe behind the most successful individuals is a trail of hardship, Kaka for one had a financially secure upbringing that gave him the flexibility to focus on school and football at the same time.
His family moved to Sao Paulo and it was here fate opened the stage that would lead him to greatness.
Shortly after his school had arranged him in a local youth club known as “Alphaville”, who qualified for the final in a local tournament.
2. He has miraculously recovered from a spin injury
Kaka had a frightening accident when he was just 18 years old where he cracked his spine on a diving board while he was playing pool.
The doctors believed he would lose his ability to walk and play soccer and even possibility of him becoming paralyzed.
He quickly recovered to the surprise of his doctors and was able to continue playing football without any problems.
Kaka believed God was behind his miraculous healing and has dedicated a portion of his earnings to donations, especially to the church that he visits in Brazil.
2. The name Kaka was invented by his brother
Many people know him as Kaka though his original name is Ricardo and considered one of the best players of his generation.
The name Kaka is magnificent as it may sound when associated with the glory it has sprouted in the football realm, it has its origin leaping from a child’s mispronunciation.
Kaka’s younger brother Digao had a difficult time pronouncing his elders’ brother’s name and settled for “caca” and it eventually evolved into Kaka.
4. He was 15 when he signed his first contract
Kaka began his career with Sao Paulo at the age of eight and was handed a contract at the age of fifteen. He guided the Sao Paulo youth squad to Cope de Juvenil glory.
He later made his senior debut on 1 February 2001 and in his 27 appearances, he scored 12 goals.
He also led Sao Paulo to its first and only Torneio Rio_ Sao Paulo championship, in which he was able to score two goals in two minutes as a substitute against Botafogo in the final, which Sao Paulo won 2_ 1.
Kakas’ raw talents were blooming and in the following seasons, he scored ten goals in 22 matches. His flamboyant skills soon started attracting attention from European clubs.
5. He was first signed for 8.5 million Euros by AC Milan
The brilliance portrayed by Kaka and the impact of his performance made him enchanting to European clubs. He signed with the European Champions, Italian Club AC Milan, in 2003.
He signed for a fee of 8.5 million euros which was considered peanuts in retrospect by the club owner Silvio Berlusconi.
Kaka did not delay his achievement in Ac Milan he scored ten goals in 30 appearances in his debut as well as provided several assists.
Due to the epic performance, he displayed during his debut, in 2004 Kaka was named Serie A footballer of the Year.
He was also nominated for both the Ballon D’Or and the 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year.
6. He has won the Copa del Ray
Kaka was unveiled as a Real Madrid player on June 30th,2009, and made his unofficial debut on 7 August 2009 in a 5_1 friendly victory against Toronto FC.
Kaka scored his first official goal, a penalty on 23 in a 2_ 0 win against Villawinl. That season Real Madrid finished in the La Liga as runners-up, with Kaka scoring eight goals and providing six assists in La Liga.
He also provided eight assists and scored nine goals in all competitions. Kaka experienced one of the best matches as a player for real Madrid on September 27, 2011, during a 3_0 victory over Ajax in the Champions league.
He brightened the Champions League when he scored one goal and provided one assist.
He participated in one of the best build-up teams of the matchday during the champions league, a counter-attacking move involving Mesut Ozil, Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema.
Kaka sadly faced difficulties in Real Madrid due to leg injuries and was sidelined for a while. In March 2011, he returned from his injury and scored two goals against Valencia.
At the end of the season with the club, Real Madrid Kaka won the Copa del Rey, which is considered one of the most prestigious national cup trophies in the world.
7. He was the top Brazilian goal scorer in the Champions League
In the 2012_13 season, Real Madrid began by winning the 2012 Super Copa de Espana against rival ls Barca.
On December 4th, 2012, Kaka scored in a 4_1 win against Ajax, making him the top Brazilian goal scorer in Champions League history, with 28 goals in total.
His record was later toppled by Neymar with 41 goals, making Kaka the 2nd most top scorer today.
8. He has suffered leg injuries
Kaka faced several challenges during his time in Real Madrid, the hardest being dealing with a leg injury.
He suffered from iliotibial band syndrome; a knee injury caused by inflammation due to friction on the lateral aspect of the knee.
He underwent surgery on his left knee in Belgium and kakas doctor labeled the injury as career-threatening.
Kakas’ leg injury complications were one of the reasons he cited for leaving Real Madrid in 2013, having scored 29 goals and provided 32 assists in 120 appearances, in all competitions over four seasons at the club.
9. He was the youngest UN ambassador in 2004
Kaka was appointed as the ambassador against hunger by the UN World Food Programme, at just 32 years of age making him the youngest UN ambassador.
Kaka was delighted and honored to receive the new role that would allow him to lend support to less unfortunate groups.
10. He was the first athlete to garner 10 million followers on Twitter
Kakas’s fame wasn’t just limited to the football field, he was the first athlete to amass 10 million followers on Twitter joining an elite group previously containing mostly musicians.