50 Players to watch at the World Cup - No 4 Kaka

08 June 2010 11:13

We continue our countdown to the World Cup with a look at Brazilian midfield maestro Kaka.

- 50 Players to watch at the World Cup: The complete list

Name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite

Age: 28

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Brazil

International caps: 78

International goals: 27

During a financially-secure upbringing, Kaka as he is known today, was able to concentrate on both his education and football development.

At the age of eight he joined Sao Paulo, signing his first contract seven years later. He made his senior debut in 2001, going on to score 23 goals in 59 games from midfield.

His prodigious talent led AC Milan to take him to Italy for a fee of around £8 million in 2003.

During six years with Milan he netted 70 goals in 193 games, while lifting trophies such as the Serie A title and Champions League.

His performances also won him a variety of personal accolades including the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007.

In 2009 he made the move to free-spending Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £60m. He endured a difficult first season in Spain but still managed to find the net eight times in just 22 appearances.

On the international stage Kaka has scored 27 goals in 78 games since making his senior debut in 2002.

He helped lift the World Cup that year and his skill and vision will be key if Brazil are to repeat the feat in South Africa.

Source: DSG