Famous Football Player: Kaka (a.k.a. Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite) (Brazil)
Born in Brazil, Kaka has earned worldwide notoriety and acclaim as a first-class midfielder for Spain’s Real Madrid team, as well as on his own native, Brazilian National team. Always a favorite with fans and his managers, Kaka has literally been playing football since he was a kid (just 8 years old) and signed his first Pro contract only seven years later. He began his career, as a child, in Brazil. His pro career took off in Italy where he played for Milan. Then, in June of 2009, Kaka left Milan to take up his current task, playing a great midfield, for Real Madrid.
Though only 28 years old, his list of accomplishments and awards are long and quite impressive. Some of Kaka’s personal accomplishments include:
• A Spot on the UEFA Team of the Year in 2006, 2007 and 2008
• UEFA Champion League Top Scorer 2006/2007
• FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball 2007
• Ballon d’Or 2007
• Time’s Top 100 in 2008 and 2009
• FIFA Player of the Year 2007
• A Spot on the FIFA Team of the Year in 2008
In addition to his considerable skills on the field, Kaka is also extremely popular for his humanitarian efforts and was appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Program in 2004. He is a devout Christian and open and candid on and off the field about his faith. He is married and has one child.
In case you are wondering, his nickname is often a popular shortened form of Ricardo. Kaka, however, states that it was his younger brother’s inability to actually pronounce his name that led to the term “kaka” being applied to him. Fans as well as family caught on and he has been called that throughout his professional career.