Ricardo Kaka - 5 iconic moments in the career of the Real Madrid and AC Milan great
The 15th of October, 2017 was an emotional day for many a footballing fan around the world as it was the last time Brazilian legend Ricardo Kaka stepped onto the field for a game of football. Playing for Orlando City in the MLS, the 35-year-old was disappointed that his swansong ended in defeat against Columbus Crew.
As he walked off the pitch for the final time, his emotions got the better of him as he broke down into tears. A number of fans in the Orlando City Stadium were on their feet heralding the Brazilian icon.
Kaka enjoyed an illustrious professional playing career that spanned over 15 years. After his beginnings in his native Sau Paulo, the Brazilian moved to Europe to achieve legendary status at AC Milan.
After four seasons in the Spanish capital, the Brazilian returned to Milan before taking the decision of playing in the United States. Kaka spent three seasons at Orlando and eventually called time on what has been a spectacular career.
To put it into perspective, here are 5iconic moments in his 16-year-old career that made him the legend he is today:
#5 Winning the Serie A in his debut season with Milan
Kaka moved abroad to seek pastures anew in Milan after enjoying an exceptional stint with Sao Paulo. Signed for a meagre €8.5 million fee, which was described in retrospect as "peanuts" by AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, the Brazilian wonderkid took little time in nailing a first-team berth.
He occupied a position in the midfield three, playing slightly behind the dynamic attacking trio of Jon Dahl Tomasson, Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko. Working in cahoots with them, Kaka slowly established himself as a vital cog in the Milan midfield.
The prolific Brazilian attacking midfielder racked up an impressive 10 league goals in 30 appearances that season and provided several assists to his teammates. In fact, he played the all-important cross into the stride of Shevchenko that won Milan the league title. Due to that pass, in particular, Kaka formed a special bond with the San Siro faithful.
His performances in his debut season in Europe did not go unnoticed as he was named as the Serie A Player of the Year, and was also nominated for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He did not win either of them, but it was the start of a happy romance with AC Milan.