The content of this article is about why Kaka had the best football career during his prime.
When you talk about famous Brazilian footballers, Kaka rarely comes across. You hear the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Pele, in recent times even Neymar but rarely Kaka. I am here to shed a light on his career and to show you what a magnificent player he was.
Ricardo Kaka was born on 22 April 1982. When he was 13, he joined Sao Paulo academy, and at 18 he made a professional debut for them. He survived a career-threatening injury as a result of a swimming pool accident. Thankfully, he rehabilitated and attributes his recovery to God.
He impressed everyone at Sao Paulo and earned himself a transfer to AC Milan for a reported fee of 8.5 million. Within a month, he replaced Rui Costa in starting lineup and wasn't dropped ever since. In his debut season, he scored 10 goals and provided 6 assists.
His prime years were from 2005 to 2008.
Establishing a 5 man midfield in the 2004/2005 season with Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf behind him, he scored 7 as AC Milan finished second in the Scudetto race. Kaka played a pivotal role in AC Milan's Champions League campaign that season, helping them to reach the final versus Liverpool.
Due to his performances in his debut season in 2004, Kaka was named Serie A Footballer of the Year and was nominated for both the Ballon d'Or (finishing in 15th place), World Player of the Year Awards (finishing in 9th place). You can hardly have a better debut season than that.
In the 2005/2006 season, he scored 17 goals as AC Milan once again finished runner-up. Nominated for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year. He was also selected to be part of both the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFPro World XI for the first time in his career.
When Andriy Shevchenko left, he became a focal point of AC Milan as a second striker behind Inzaghi. Kaka finished as a Champions League top scorer with 10 goals with his most memorable against Manchester United, when he beautifully controlled the ball, sit two defenders and slotted the ball in the far corner.
Kaka won the UEFA Champions League title when AC Milan defeated Liverpool 2:1 in 2007, avenging the previous loss on penalties two years before. Though he didn't score, he won a free-kick that led to the first of Filippo Inzaghi's two goals and provided the assist for the second.
On 2nd, December 2007, Kaka became the eighth AC Milan player to win the Ballon d'Or, as he finished with decisive 444 votes, well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The elegant midfielder became the last player to win Ballon d'Or before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominance.
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