Having inspired AC Milan to UEFA Champions League glory last season, Kaká had further reason to celebrate today after collecting the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year prize. As part of the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage, the Brazilian was joined on the podium in Monaco by club-mates Paolo Maldini and Clarence Seedorf while only the presence of Petr Čech prevented a Rossoneri clean sweep. 'Special place' Kaká may not have struck in the final in Athens, Filippo Inzaghi scoring both in the 2-1 defeat of Liverpool FC, but his ten goals in 13 games enabled the 25-year-old to finish comfortably ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Peter Crouch, Fernando Morientes and Didier Drogba, all of whom scored six. Speaking to uefa.com after the final, he said: "Winning trophies is what motivates me and I am looking forward to the next challenge. This UEFA Champions League, however, will always have a special place in my heart for the extra honour of ending up as the tournament's top scorer." Brazil hat-trick Kaká, who also won the Best Forward award, becomes the first Milan player to be named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year - an honour previously known as the Most Valuable Player award until the success of his countryman Ronaldinho last year.
Washabiki wa Kaka hapa
"Kaka reads the Bible ("my favourite book"), praying and listening to gospel music. As a member of 'Christ's Athletes', 10 per cent of his monthly salary is transferred to the church.Many South American footballers have espoused the same values in public, yet behind the scenes have been just as interested in the playboy lifestyle favoured by so many young, wealthy footballers.Kaka insists: "It is not my place to make judgments about the behaviour of any other footballer. Cars and women, things like that, have never been important to me. My family, and my belief in God and Jesus are the things which determine my life. I do want to live my life in the right way, and live my life close to God."At 18, he suffered a spinal fracture in a swimming pool accident. Doctors told him his career was over, and that he could face paralysis in his legs. Instead, he made a full recovery."I thank God for that, and it was down to him that I made a full recovery," he said. It is why, he explained, that he plays every game with the words "I belong to Jesus" and "God is faithful", stitched - in English - into the tongues of his boots."