Brazilian star Kaka announces retirement

Ross Houston
December 17, 2017

Brazilian soccer star Ricardo Kaka announced his retirement on Sunday in a television interview with Brazilian television Globo.

"I am preparing to continue in football and to have a different role, but I will no longer be a professional player, an athlete", the 2007 Ballon d'Or victor told Globo television.

Kaka began his career at Brazilian giants Sao Paulo, making his debut in 2001 and earning a place in the Brazil squad for the 2002 World Cup, which the Selecao won.

There were speculations that he might return to AC Milan, the club where his story received the boost, but Kaka believed it to be the right time to hang his boots.

The former FIFA World Cup victor with Brazil stated that: "My cycle as a professional player ends here. Thank you! I'm now ready for the next journey", he posted on Twitter, alongside a picture of himself in a T-shirt labelled "I belong to Jesus".

Kaka made 270 appearances for the Italian side and it was there he won the Ballon d'Or in 2007 after he helped the club win the Champions League.

The legendary Brazilian also won an array of individual honours, and his 2007 Ballon d'Or title is the last time anyone other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo lifted football's most prestigious individual honour.

"The fact that I have had success as a professional player does not mean that I will be a good director, so I want to prepare for it from now on; study, monitor, be closer to some clubs, especially one where I played".

Kaka had played with Orlando City since the team's first MLS season in 2015 and scored the team's first ever goal.

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