Brazil great Kaka retiring from soccer at age 35

Todd Singleton
December 18, 2017

Former Brazil, AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka has retired from football at the age of 35.

His Ballon d'Or win a decade ago was the last before Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi began their 10-year duopoly on the award.

"I would like to participate in the club in another way, as a manager, a sporting director, as someone who is between the pitch and the club", he said in a farewell interview with Globo TV in Brazil.

The 35-year-old has announced his retirement after a great career, during which he took the shirt of Sao Paulo, Milan, Real Madrid and Orlando City. The unsafe playmaker won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA's World Player award in 2007.

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"Milan recently made this proposal [to play before becoming a director] so that I had there [an understanding of] the day to day of the club". Further spells at Milan and Sao Paulo ensued before the midfielder concluded his career in the U.S. with Major League Soccer outfit Orlando City.

"I needed some time to think and make a very quiet decision, very calm and very conscious of what I would like for my professional life", he said. I spoke to some people very close to me, my parents, my brother, my girlfriend and my brother's wife, five people.

The famously devout Christian also took time to pray and reflect. I asked for a prayer period. "I went to Europe to watch some games, to feel the emotion of the game there, where football really has its highest point".

Posting a black and white image of himself wearing the famous "I belong to Jesus" t-shirt he sported in the Champions League final against Liverpool, Kaka issued a statement reflecting on his career.

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