Full Name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite

Place of Birth: Brasilia, Brazil

Date of Birth: 22/04/1982

Position: Midfielder

Weight: 82 kg

Height: 185.6 cms

Nationality: Brazilian

Ricardo was born in Brasília to Bosco Izecson Pereira Leite (a civil engineer) and Simone dos Santos (an elementary school teacher). He had a financially secure upbringing that allowed him to focus on both school and football at the same time. His younger brother Rodrigo (best known as Digão) and cousin Eduardo Delani are also professional footballers.

When he was seven, Kaká’s family moved to São Paulo. His school had arranged him in a local youth club called “Alphaville,” who qualified to the final in a local tournament.

Kaká began his move toward the professional ranks at the age of 15, when he signed to the São Paulo youth club. His bright career was brought to a halt only three years later, when a swimming pool accident fractured a vertebrae in his neck. The incident could have paralyzed the athlete, but Kaká fully healed. Crediting God for his miraculous recovery, the budding star began leading an actively Christian life, engaging in daily prayer; tithing a portion of his income to the church and remaining chaste until his marriage to childhood sweetheart Caroline Celico in 23 December 2005 at a Rebirth in Christ church in São Paulo. Their first child, Luca Celico Leite, was born in São Paulo on 10 June 2008. On 8 December 2010, Kaká announced Celico was pregnant with their second child, a daughter. She was born late at night on 23 April 2011 and named Isabella.

Sao Paulo first took notice and by 2001 he had earned a starting spot with the first team, played in 27 matches and scored 12 goals. The following season he knocked in ten goals in 22 matches. After leading Sao Paulo to the Super Campeonato Paulista title in 2002, Kaka debuted with the Brazilian national team against Bolivia and seeing limited action, took home the World Cup title. By then, steady European interest in the 21-year old culminated in his signing with AC Milan.

In 2003, the midfielder left his home country for a new team and a new contract in Milan, Italy. For Milan, the transfer had cost $10 million, a sum that the club’s owner labeled as “peanuts” compared to the talent he was getting. It didn’t take long for Kaká to live up to his pricetag (Kaka played in 30 matches and scored ten goals en route to the Scudetto and Italian Super Cup in his first year with Milan). Over the next several seasons, Kaká assembled a player résumé like no other. His accolades included The Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year title in 2004 and 2006, as well as recognition as the Champions League Best Midfielder in 2005. But his finest season to date came in 2007, when Kaká became the league’s top scorer, and led his team to Champions League and Club World Cup titles. In addition, he was named the European Footballer of the Year, World Soccer Player of the year, FIFA World Cup Best Player, and FIFA World Player of the Year.

For much of his time in Milan, rumors circulated that he may leave for another team. In January 2009, talks heated up between Milan and Manchester City about a proposed $145 million transfer that would see Kaká move north to England, but Milan fans refused and Kaká didn’t left. Negotiations eventually came undone, but not the rumors about the player’s departure. Five months later, the Milan team—a club that was deeply in debt—handed Kaká over to the Real Madrid club in Spain for a $78 million, six-year contract. “Now the soap opera is over,” Kaká told reporters.

For Kaká, the change meant a new team and a new contract, but not a new life. In a sport that has its share of glitz and glamour, the playmaker has been unafraid to voice his Christian faith. “Cars and women, things like that, have never been important to me,” said the player. “My family, and my belief in God and Jesus are the things which determine my life. I do want to live my life in the right way, and live my life close to God.” The player has tried to back up his words with action. In 2004, he became the U.N. World Food Program’s youngest ambassador, a recognition that has seen the soccer star support programs that try to address world hunger. In 2008, for example, he helped the organization launch “Fill the Cup”, an ambitious relief effort that works to get food to the estimated 59 million children in developing countries.

Kaká was sworn in as an Italian citizen on 12 February 2007. He features prominently in Adidas advertising and also has a modeling contract with Armani. On August 2010, EA Sports announceed that Kaká has been chosen for the cover of FIFA 11 and now is also part of FIFA 12 cover.

“I dream about a great play every day of my life.” -Kaká-

Sources: Biography, realmadrid.com, wikipedia