FLASHBACK Kaká | Best Serie A Goals | VIDEO
Reaching his peak on the brink of the Messi-Ronaldo era, Kaká occupies a unique place in football history. We shouldn’t forget his phenomenal talent.
For a brief period of time, Kaká was, without doubt, the best footballer in the world.
The Brazil playmaker was recognised as such at the 2007 Ballon d’Or ceremony, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi — two players who would dominate the awards for the next decade — by a huge margin.
It was hard to keep up with Kaká’s many achievements that year.
With AC Milan, he won the 2006-07 Champions League, the 2007 Super Cup and the 2007 Club World Cup. That Milan side boasted some great players, but Kaká was their heartbeat, their driving force.
Watch the legend in action:
As well as scooping virtually every ‘footballer of the year’ contest in existence, the playmaker’s 10 European goals – including that one against Manchester United – also made him the Champions League’s top scorer.
At the Ballon d’Or ceremony, fellow Brazilian Pelé explained why Kaká’s achievements dwarfed those of Messi and Ronaldo.
“Kaka has been playing at this level for Brazil for four years now,” Pelé said. “He helps out in midfield and he is also a great example off the pitch. He is the complete player.”
Kaká was also something of a dying breed. An all-action No.10, the Brazilian was a central attacking midfielder who consistently scored and provided goals for his team.
Where goalscoring wide forwards have since dominated the Ballon d’Or, Kaká usually played through the middle, using his pace and skill to move the ball from midfield to attack, usually with the desired consequences.
Zinedine Zidane called him a “rare piece of talent”.