Last week’s piece naming Cristiano Ronaldo the greatest player in the World sparked interest among a couple STO readers regarding who I would consider Ronaldo’s rivals for the top spot in all of soccer. So, without further ado, I will continue my countdown (which is admittedly more of a count up) with my #2 player in the world, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.
Kaka, that’s who.
I know. Funny that Kaka would be #2, but I didn’t place him here simply for the potty humor pun. Rather, I believe Kaka to be head and shoulders above the #3 player in the world (who will be named later), and, in fact, the only player who can really rival Ronaldo in the world. Though, I must admit, when I also realized his preferred number was the double deuce, #22, I couldn’t help but think Kaka is more familiar with poop than my septic tank.
The twenty-six year old Kaka, like Ronaldo, plays primarily in midfield, though he also can deconstruct a defense from the second striker position. In a professional career spanning seven seasons, he has played for only two squads, Brazil’s Sao Paolo FC and Italy’s A.C. Milan. Because his current contract does not expire until 2013, Kaka will apparently play almost his entire career with only two clubs, a feat of stability most modern Galacticos do not enjoy.
In Kaka’s first full season with Milan (2003), he scored ten goals and assisted Milan’s capture of the Scudetto and the European Super Cup. In 2005, he helped Milan finish second in the Champions League and in 2007, he led Milan’s capture of that elusive title.
Later that year, he was named Best Player in the World by FIFA.
Kaka’s international career has also had many successes. He was a cog (albeit a small one) in the Brazillian squad that captured the 2002 World Cup and he has averaged about one goal per every three international appearances, which is not shabby at all.
Expecially when once considers that at age 18 Kaka nearly became paralyzed after suffering an injury while playing in a swimming pool with friends. Kaka’s miraculous recovery has reinforced his Christian faith, which he exhibits far more than most soccer stars or celebrities would dare.
Then again, most athletes wouldn’t probably rock a “Jesus Loves You” or “I Belong to Jesus” t-shirt under their jersey either. It takes a bold man to declare his love so openly for another man, even if the other guy was possibly divine.
Another thing Kaka loves?
And let me tell you, how could you not love a wife that looks like this. Jesus loves her too. But he’s not in love with her. At least I hope not as it could throw a wrench in his whole celibacy thing.