You are here

Kaka bids tearful farewell to Orlando City

Brazil international Kaka was in tears after he played his final game for MLS side Orlando City on Sunday. The 35-year-old confirmed last week that he would not renew his contract beyond December, and he was caught up in the emotion following his side's 1-0 defeat to Columbus at the Orlando City Stadium.

Speaking after the game, he said: "It was hard to play sometimes. When I was on the field, a lot of things were on my mind and it was difficult to focus on the game. It was a really, really special game, and I wanted to finish with a win. Most of that was just to say thank you because a lot happened during these three seasons. One day, I don't know when but soon, I will retire, but I will still have these guys as friends in the future."

Kaka walked onto the pitch following the final whistle with his two children, and he thanked the crowd for their overwhelming support during his three years at the club. The veteran will play no part in the final outing of the season against Philadelphia Union, but he is expected to feature for Orlando once more in a hurricane relief benefit friendly in early November.

The former AC Milan star has gone through a career of mixed fortunes with injuries and the loss of form hampering his chances of establishing himself in Europe in the latter stages of his career. Kaka remains the last player to win Ballon d'Or in 2007 after which the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo began on the global stage.

The pair have shared the last nine Ballon d'Or titles between them, and the trend looks set to continue with Ronaldo the favourite to secure the crown this term. Kaka is said to have received offers from rival MLS clubs, but he has adequate to make the next step in his career.