Former Brazil, AC Milan and Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has retired from football.
"I needed time to think and take a decision calmly", Kaka said. "I went to Europe to watch some games, to feel the emotion of the game there, where football really has its highest point".
"In a very conscious manner, I came to the conclusion that the time has come to end my career as a professional player".
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Kaka had played with Orlando City since the team's first MLS season in 2015 and scored the team's first ever goal. Reports circulated around two specific offers: a return to his first love Sao Paolo for a one-year contract and another non-playing role as club director at AC Milan.
Kaka will be best remembered for his time at Milan. I'm that way inclined too. "Thank you! I'm now ready for the next journey".
In a glittering six-year spell, he led the Italian club to the 2003-04 Scudetto, the 2004 Supercoppa Italiana, the 2007 UEFA Super Cup, the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2006-07 Champions League title.
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Alexandre Pato was among Kaka's former team-mates to honour the midfielder on Twitter on Sunday, while Milan and Orlando also shared their memories. But in the end, he arrived at Real Madrid for 67m euros nearly at the same time with Ronaldo.
Kaka won 92 caps for Brazil, scoring 29 goals and featuring at three World Cups, forming part of the squad that lifted the trophy in 2002.
Kaka joined Real Madrid in 2009 for 67 million euros ($78.7 million) but had an up-and-down stint due to a series of injuries. As a dribbler, he was able to overcome nearly any challenge with a unique sense of speed and precision but what made him so mesmerizing was his uncanny ability to find teammates thanks to his unrivaled vision.
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