The time of year has come once again when Milanisti across the globe get to celebrate the birthday of one of their favourite sons.
Ricardo Kaka is one of the most decorated players in the club’s illustrious history, having had a spectacular career at Milan which included 307 appearances, 104 goals, 68 assists, five major trophies and a Ballon d’Or title too.
He is an embodiment for many of the last time Milan truly had the best player in the world, and the affection that he feels towards the club – as well as the love the fans feel towards him – means that it will be a never-ending love story.
Below, we have picked out some of the best quotes from former team-mates, managers, pundits and fellow professionals which sum up just how brilliant the Brazilian was…
“For two maybe three years, he was the best player in the world. There was a point when teams just had no idea how to stop him.”
“Kaka is the only player in the world I would pay money to watch. Some of the things I have seen him do on the pitch amaze me.
“He has the lot — fantastic skill, pace, vision, great passing and he scores goals. As a midfield player you are lucky if you have three of those attributes.
“For me, he is the best player in the world and he’ll probably go down as one of the best ever. I’ve admired him for years. I look at a player like that and see if I can learn anything from him.
“And when a player enjoys watching another professional you know they are something special.”
“I’d never seen such a perfect player. After just one training session I knew this kid was special. He changed Milan’s pace and our history.”
🤗 How about some Monday magic from @KAKA to brighten up the day…
🔊 That San Siro roar 😍❤️️🖤pic.twitter.com/56ujhRg0F3
— SempreMilan (@SempreMilanCom) March 16, 2020
“He helps out in midfield and he is also a great example off the pitch. He is the complete player.”
“Zidane was the best. Kaka is the second best player I’ve coached and definitely the most intelligent.”
“In the first game he introduced himself with a sombrero and there began his splendid career at Milan. He looked like a robot. He was a sniper.”
“Kaka is a true Milan legend. Everybody at the club loves him,” Galliani told RMC in 2014. “He has entered the hearts of all the Milan fans in his own special way.
“At Milan, we have had legends like Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi. It is probably fair to say that the fans’ affection for Kaka is equally big.”
“My friend, it was a great joy to play and win games alongside a great champion like you. I am sure that life will give you a lot more joy ahead. Thank You Kaka!”
“Kaka’s magic is not the kind of sorcery born of flashy moves and baroque touches. It is the most special – and useful – magic, skill distilled to its most essential elements. Nothing is wasted, everything has a purpose.”
“I don’t know whether he’s the best player Milan have had in my time here, but I’ve never seen a player so young do the things he does for us.”