Kaká: Jesus’ name on your boots

Brazilian Players, SerieA

In 2007 the Brazilian Kaká experienced one of the highlights of his career with AC Milan. With an assist on Filippo Inzaghi and a free kick that Andrea Pirlo redeemed after a foul on the Brazilian, Kaká played a crucial role in Milan’s 2-1 victory against Liverpool in Champions League final. AC Milan took its revenge for the loss to Liverpool three years earlier when the Italians gave away a 3-0 lead and lost the match on penalties.

Remarkable is the spectacle that Kaká choose to make claimed for himself, immediately after the victory. While the fans around him were singing and shouting, Kaká took off his Milan shirt and displayed the wording ‘I belong to Jesus’ on his white T-shirt underneath.

Kaka’s is grateful to God for his full recovery after a dive hitting the bottom of a swallow pool

A few months later, world football organization Fifa crowned the Brazilian the best player of 2007, a choice determined by 45.000 football professionals from around the world, and Kaká reaffirmed his faith: `This award is special to me, but the Bible says God will give you more then you can ever ask for and that’s what happened in my life’.

These stories anecdotes are the beginning of the biography Toward the Goal, by Jeremy J. Jones. The book tells the story of Kaká’s success and the reason he is so deeply religious. He became paralyzed at the age of eighteen when he dove and hit the bottom of a shallow pool, but made a full recovery. His recovery, Kaká says, is due to God. He donates 10 percent of his income to the church, is against premarital sex, and even his football boots testify to his piety: “Jesus in the first place,” it says on them.

Like so many Brazilian top players, Kaká acquired a football name. Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, his Christian name is, or Ricardinho (“little Richard”), but his little brother could not pronounce this so a more catchy name was chosen. In 2002 Kaká became world champion with the Brazilian national team.

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