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'I don't feel joy playing any more' - Brazil legend hints at retirement

Kaka admits that his body is struggling to cope with the demands of top-level competition in MLS with Orlando City

 Kaka (file pic).
Kaka (file pic).

FORMER REAL MADRID and AC Milan midfielder Kaka could be the next high-profile figure to head into retirement after “losing the joy” of playing football.

Now 35 years of age and turning out in MLS with Orlando City, the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner admits that his body is struggling to handle the demands of top-level competition.

That suggests that the Brazilian could soon follow the lead of fellow MLS star Andrea Pirlo and bring the curtain down on a glittering career.

Kaka told Globo Esporte: “I don’t feel joy in playing football any more, as I feel pain every time I finish a match.

My body doesn’t deal with it very well now and at the age of 35 it is very difficult to recover every time.”

Italy stalwart Pirlo, who is currently on the books of New York City, recently announced that he is to hang up his boots when his contract comes to an end in December.

Kaka may decide to do likewise if he feels he cannot cope with another campaign in the US.

If he were to head into retirement, then he would be heralded as one of the finest performers of the modern era.

A man who helped Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, Kaka will be best remembered for his first stint at AC Milan between 2003 and 2009 — during which he became the best player on the planet while tasting Serie A and Champions League success.

He failed to replicate those heroics after securing a €68.5 million move to Real Madrid, with injuries blighting his time in Spain, but he has impressed again since joining the MLS ranks in 2015.

A distinguished career may now be coming towards a close, but Kaka admits that he is already planning for life once his playing days are over, with a desire on his part to follow the lead of current Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

He added: “I would love to have a career like Zinedine Zidane.

He stopped playing, took some time, realised he liked coaching and started working in the youth academy. I could follow a similar path.”

Kaka has made over 650 club appearances, while earning 92 caps for Brazil.

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