Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Soccer expansion team Orlando City SC announced Tuesday that it has signed former Brazil international Kaka as a Designated Player.
Kaka, who was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007, was long-expected to join MLS, but the 32-year-old only made the move official on Tuesday when he was unveiled by club president Phil Rawlins as Orlando City's first-ever Designated Player in a Tuesday morning press conference.
"We not only brought a Brazilian superstar, we brought a world superstar," Rawlins said at the event. "Today we put MLS on notice. We may be franchise No. 21, but we're not here to make up the numbers.
"We're here to win and we're here to play, and what better way to do that than to sign a winner in Kaka."
Kaka began his career at Sao Paulo before making a high-profile move to Italian giants AC Milan in 2003. He spent time with Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid from 2009 to 2013 before returning to Milan for the 2013-14 season.
A longtime member of the Brazilian national team, Kaka was a part of the nation's World Cup-winning squad in 2002 but only managed to play 25 minutes in the tournament.
"They said to me that they had this dream to get a team and build an amazing team in America," Kaka said of his discussions with Orlando City's owners. "So from 2012 until now we have been speaking a lot, flirting a lot until today that we signed this final contract and I'm so happy for that. It's a dream come true.
"I've been speaking with other teams two years ago. I had the opportunities to go to New York. In the end I think God had another special thing for me in Orlando. And so I'm happy because for me it's a very nice project. We can build a lot of good things here in Orlando and also because (Orlando City majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva) is Brazilian, for the Brazilian people it's nice to have this focus now on America and American football."
Orlando City SC will begin play in MLS in 2015.