Kaka planning to stay in Orlando after contract expires

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – Kaká is going nowhere. At least, that's his plan.

Reports from Brazil had surfaced about Kaká planning to leave Major League Soccer after his contract with Orlando City expired at the end of the season, but the World Cup winner labeled the accounts as, “something that’s a mistake.”

“A misunderstanding because I am very happy here,” Kaká told reporters at MLS Media Day on Tuesday. “I had a three year contract, so this is the last year under this contract, but my idea is to stay here.

“Of course we never know what can happen at the end of the season or during the season, but my idea for now is to stay in Orlando and stay in the league.”

Orlando City’s No. 10 sees no reason to move, pointing out that he is enjoying life off the field as well.

“I am very happy with this experience,” Kaká said. “The professional part, my personal life and everything I could learn from the country, from the city, from the culture here.”

Through 52 appearances in his first two seasons, Kaká has racked up 18 goals and 17 assists. While his point total is a constant feature for Orlando City SC, the Brazilian said the league continues to evolve on an upward trajectory.

The former World Player of the Year noted the growth of the league in terms of teams and stature and the shrinking perception that the MLS is a “retirement league” for foreign players. In addition, the two-time All-Star also has seen an increase in the quality of play. A claim that he argued can be backed up with tangible evidence. 

“Of course the technique, the tactical level of the league it’s increasing and the numbers can show us that it’s true,” Kaká stated. “That is not just some speculation. This is a fact.”

His club continues to evolve as well. Heading into their third season, Orlando City SC will move from the Citrus Bowl to the new Orlando City Stadium.

“It’s amazing,” was Kaká’s instant response when asked about the new stadium. “We’ve been there at the end of the season, so of course we didn’t see it finished, but now the image that we can see about the stadium, it’s amazing.”

For Kaka and his teammates, the March 5 battle with New York City FC to start the season cannot come soon enough. The Brazilian has set some of the world’s most famous stadiums alight during his illustrious career and he hopes to experience the same feelings of jubilation in his new home.  

“I am looking forward to playing there our first game and after that, I can tell you about how it is to play in the brand new stadium,” he said. “For me it will be the first time and I can tell you better if it’s good, it’s bad and how I can compare it with the other stadiums that I have already played in my career.”