Published On: Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

Kaka announces end to Orlando City tenure

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Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City captain Kaka announced Wednesday that he’s decided not to renew his contract with the club. The 35-year-old revealed he has ended the “first cycle” of his time with the Lions, but spoke carefully, implying that he is not yet retiring from the game.

The former Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Sao Paulo star, who has amassed 92 caps for Brazil over 17 years, joined Orlando three years ago as the club came into Major League Soccer in 2015. He has gone on to make 74 appearances in those three seasons, scoring 24 goals and recording 22 assists.

However, Kaka could not guide the Lions to a playoff berth in those three years and departs having never contested for the MLS Cup. Still, he does not rule out a return to the club.

“I love this club, I love these guys, I love to be here, but as a soccer player, I’m not part of the club for next season,” Kaka said during a press conference the club streamed over Periscope. “We don’t know, we never know what could happen. I could come back to be an ambassador of the club or a GM or as a coach in the future.

“I hope in the future, our paths can cross again.”

While specific details were not revealed, Paul Tenorio of FourFourTwo reports Kaka was offered a one-year contract extension that represented a significant decrease in his salary – set in 2017 at $7,167,500.

Kaka also said he didn’t make the decision based on his physical condition, offering: “Family’s very important for me. Living in a country, different from my kids, is something that I put in the balance as well. I need, for my life and my career right now, new challenges and new motivation. This is the most important thing for me right now. This is what I based my finally decision (on).”

He also had plenty of praise for MLS: “It’s amazing. What’s happening to soccer in this country is unbelievable. The new franchises, the supporters, everything.”

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