- POSTED: 02 Jul 2014 08:52
Brazilian star Kaka was officially unveiled Tuesday as the marquee signing of Major League Soccer expansion team Orlando City SC, which will debut in 2015.
LOS ANGELES: Brazilian star Kaka was officially unveiled Tuesday as the marquee signing of Major League Soccer expansion team Orlando City SC, which will debut in 2015.
The 32-year-old Kaka, who was left out of the Brazil squad for the ongoing World Cup in his home country, was long expected to join the MLS.
"They said to me that they had this dream to get a team and build an amazing team in America," the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year said.
"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."
Club president Phil Rawlins made no attempt to hide his glee at snapping up the former Real Madrid and AC Milan attacking midfielder, who is Orlando's first so-called Designated Player.
"We not only brought a Brazilian superstar, we brought a world superstar," Rawlins told a press conference.
"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 had his contract with Italian club AC Milan terminated by mutual consent.
He joined AC Milan from Sao Paulo in 2003, winning a Serie A title and the Champions League there before departing for Real Madrid in 2009.
He returned to AC Milan last season, scoring seven goals in 30 Serie A appearances, but the latter stages of his career have been dogged by injury and poor form.
Until he is due to report for MLS duty in January 2015, Kaka is expected to play on loan to Sao Paulo, the club that developed him as a youth and where he played first as a professional.
New York City FC -- who have recruited Spain's David Villa -- and Orlando will become the 20th and 21st teams competing in MLS in 2015.