Thursday, December 29, 2011


Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (born 22 April 1982), commonly known as Kaká, is a Brazilian football attacking midfielder who currently plays for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team. Kaká started his footballing career at the age of eight, when he began playing for a local club. At the time, he also played tennis, and it was not until he moved on to São Paulo FC and signed his first professional contract with the club at the age of fifteen that he chose to focus on football.

In 2003 he joined Milan for a fee of €8.5 million. While at Milan, Kaká won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007. After his success with Milan, Kaká joined Real Madrid for a world record fee of £56 million, smashing the previous record of Zidane, £49 million. Kaká's record was later broken by Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined Real Madrid for a fee of £80 million. In addition to his contributions on the pitch, Kaká is known for his humanitarian work. In 2004, by the time of his appointment, he became the youngest ambassador of the UN World Food Programme.

Early Life
Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite was born in Brasília to Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite (a civil engineer) and Simone dos Santos (an elementary school teacher). He had a financially secure upbringing that allowed him to focus on both school and football at the same time. His younger brother Rodrigo (best known as Digão) and cousin Eduardo Delani are also professional footballers.

When he was seven, Kaká's family moved to São Paulo. His school had arranged him in a local youth club called "Alphaville," who qualified to the final in a local tournament. There he was discovered by hometown club São Paulo FC, who offered an assignment.

At the age of 18, Kaká suffered a career-threatening and possibly paralysis-inducing spinal fracture as a result of a swimming pool accident, but remarkably made a full recovery. He attributes his recovery to God and has since tithed his income to his church.

Personal life
Kaká married his childhood sweetheart Caroline Celico on 23 December 2005 at a Rebirth in Christ church in São Paulo. Their first child, Luca Celico Leite, was born in São Paulo on 10 June 2008. On 8 December 2010, Kaká announced Celico was pregnant with their second child, a daughter. She was born late at night on 23 April 2011 and named Isabella.

Kaká was sworn in as an Italian citizen on 12 February 2007. He features prominently in Adidas advertising and also has a modeling contract with Armani, the latter preventing him from appearing in a photo collection alongside his Milan teammates that was published by Dolce & Gabbana in early 2007.

Raí, the former Brazilian and São Paulo FC captain, has always been the footballing role model of Kaká.

Kaká's best friend is fellow Brazilian Marcelo Saragosa who plays as a midfielder for the team FC Absheron in Azerbaijan. They both served as best man at each other's wedding.

Kaká is a follower of the evangelical Rebirth in Christ Church and devout evangelical Christian. Kaká became engrossed in religion at the age of 12: "I learnt that it is faith that decides whether something will happen or not." He removed his jersey to reveal an "I Belong to Jesus" t-shirt and openly engaged in prayer moments after the final whistle of Brazil's 2002 World Cup, and Milan's 2004 Scudetto and 2007 Champions League triumphs. He also had the same phrase, along with "God Is Faithful," stitched onto the tongues of his boots. During the postmatch celebration following Brazil's 4–1 win over Argentina in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup final, he and several of his teammates wore t-shirts that read "Jesus Loves You" in various languages. While receiving the FIFA World Footballer of the year in 2007 he said when he was young he just wanted to be a professional player for SaoPaolo and play one game for the Brazil national Team but the God gave him more than he ever asked for".

Though sharing a common goal, Kaká is not currently a formal member of the organization Atletas de Cristo ("Athletes of Christ"). In goal celebrations he usually points to the sky as a gesture of thanks to God. Kaká's favourite music is gospel, and his favourite book is the Bible. Since November 2004, he has served as an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN' World Food Programme, the youngest to do so at the time of his appointment.

On August 2010, EA Sports announceed that Kaká has been chosen for the cover of FIFA 11.

Kaká has a musical side to himself as he performed a song with his wife, Caroline, on her debut album. The song, entitled Presente de Deus, was written by Kaká himself for his wife and was resonated in the church during their wedding in 2005.

His nickname is pronounced as it is spelled, with stress on the second syllable (About this sound pronunciation, and is a common term of endearment of "Ricardo" in Brazil. In Kaká's case, it was created by his younger brother Digão calling him "Caca" due to his inability to pronounce "Ricardo" when they were young; it eventually evolved into Kaká.

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