• Full name Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite
  • Birth date April 22, 1982
  • Birth place Brasília, Brazil
  • Current age 36 years 275 days

The Brazilian star is undoubtedly one of the best footballers of the past few years and burst onto the scene when he signed for AC Milan for around €8.5 million.

Even though he was born in Brasilia, he moved with his family to Sao Paulo as a kid and started his career there. He made his Sao Paulo debut at the age of 19 and in a short time he showed that he was different. Skillful, relentless and possessing an excellent shot, he scored 30 goals in his first two seasons. Many big clubs in Europe set their sights on him, but it was AC Milan who acted fastest to snap him up.

In Italy he became a great player and claimed many titles with the Rossoneri. He won the Serie A, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Championship and earned a series of personal trophies as well. In 2004 he was the Player of the Year in Serie A, but the avalanche of achievements would come in 2007, when he obtained the Ballon d'Or, the FIFA World Player trophy and the man-of-the-match award in the FIFA Club World Cup.

In 2009 he was back in the spotlight when Real Madrid decided to put together yet another team of Galacticos, signing him for the whopping sum of €65 million, the second most expensive transfer in history after Cristiano Ronaldo. However, a combination of injury and Ronaldo's predominance has made the Brazilian's stay an unhappy one to date - with reports of a return to Milan or move to past suitors Manchester City refusing to go away.

Strengths: Highly skilful player, a great shot, superb vision for a pass.

Weaknesses: Despite his height, his aerial game is not his best feature.

Career high: Winning the 2007 UEFA Champions League, finishing top scorer with 10 goals.

Career low: A lot was expected from him in the 2006 World Cup, but after a disappointing showing, his team was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Style: Cerebral, composed, balanced, a real team player.

Quotes: "I have no doubts. To me, Kaka is the best player in the world, because he is the most complete player. I see him a notch above Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," said Pelé.

Trivia: When he was 15, he fractured a vertebra when jumping from a springboard into a pool, and his career was in doubt. But he recovered fully - attributing it all to God's help, and from that moment became an "Athlete of Christ".


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Jul 2, 2010

Kaka curves a shot goalward

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Nigel de Jong tackles Kaka

Jun 28, 2010

Kaka chases the ball

Jun 28, 2010

Kaka and Luis Fabiano celebrate

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