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Claim to Fame
Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (born 22 April 1982), commonly known as Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for São Paulo FC on loan from Orlando City.
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Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (born April 22, 1982 in Brasília), better known as Kaká, is a Brazilian midfielder who plays for Italian Serie A club A.C. Milan and the Brazilian national team. He was the recipient of both the Ballon d`Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007, and was named in the 2008 Time 100.
Kaká was born to Simone Cristina dos Santos Leite and Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite. He has a younger brother, Rodrigo (known as Digão), who has followed in his footsteps by playing football for Milan. When he was seven, his 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 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.
Kaká began his club career with São Paulo at the age of eight. He signed a contract at 15 and led the SPFC youth squad to Copa de Juvenil glory. Kaká made his senior side debut in January 2001 and scored 12 goals in 27 appearances, in addition to leading São Paulo to its first and only Torneio Rio-São Paulo championship. He scored 10 in 22 matches the following season, and by this time his performance was soon attracting attention from European clubs. Kaká made totally 146 appearances for São Paulo scoring 58 times.
AC Milan, fresh from winning the 2003 Champions League, brought him aboard in 2003 for $8.5 million, a fee described in hindsight as "peanuts" by club owner Silvio Berlusconi. Within a month, he cracked the starting lineup, and has remained there since. His Serie A debut was in a 2–0 Milan win at A.C. Ancona. He scored 10 goals in 30 appearances that season, as Milan won the Scudetto and the European Super Cup. Kaká was a part of the five-man midfield in the 2004–05 season, usually playing in a withdrawn role behind striker Andriy Shevchenko. He scored 7 goals in 36 domestic appearances as Milan finished runner-up to Juventus. Despite Milan losing the 2004–05 Champions League final to Liverpool F.C. on penalties, he was nonetheless voted the best midfielder of the tournament, and also finished ninth, with 19 votes, in the running for the 2005 Ballon D`Or.
The 2005–06 season saw Kaká score his first hat-tricks in domestic and European competition. On April 9, 2006, he scored his first Rossoneri hat-trick against Chievo Verona. All three goals were scored in the second half. Seven months later, he scored his first Champions League hat-trick in a 4–1 group stage win over RSC Anderlecht. The football world was beginning to take notice of a superstar in the making.
Shevchenko`s departure to Chelsea FC for the 2006–07 season allowed Kaká to become the focal point of Milan`s offense as he alternated between the midfield and striker positions. He finished as the top scorer in the 2006–07 CL campaign with ten goals, which proved a catalyst in steering Milan back to European success. One of them helped the Rossoneri beat Celtic FC 1–0 after extra time in the quarterfinals on a 1–0 aggregate, and three others proved fatal for Manchester United in the semifinals despite Milan losing the first leg. Following the convincing 3–0 second-leg defeat at the San Siro on May 2 that knocked out the English champions, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson declared that Kaká was one of the two best players in the world, alongside his charge Cristiano Ronaldo. The previous month, a panel of experts set up by Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport proclaimed Kaká as the world`s best footballer. Shevchenko also included his endorsement, while suggesting that Kaká deserved to win the Ballon D`Or.
Kaká added the Champions League title to his trophy case for the first time when Milan defeated Liverpool F.C. 2–1 in Athens on May 23, 2007. Though he went scoreless, he won a free kick that led to the first of Filippo Inzaghi`s two goals, and provided the assist for the second. For his stellar play throughout the competition, he was voted the Vodafone Fans` Player of the Season in a poll of over 100,000 UEFA.com visitors. In June 2007, German football publication Kicker named him the world`s best player, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho finishing second and third, respectively, while he was also given this honor by UK publication The Times. On August 30, 2007, Kaká was named by UEFA as both the top forward of the 2006–07 CL season and Club Footballer of the Year.
He played his 200th career match with Milan in a 1–1 home draw with Calcio Catania on Septemb
Full Name at Birth
Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite
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Caroline Celico (Wife)
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Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Adidas
Luca (Son) June 10 2008, Isabella (Daugher) April 23rd 2011
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