Brazil playmaker Kaka is now Italian.
The AC Milan midfielder received Italian citizenship Monday at the Milan
prefecture. "It is an honour. Now I am an Italian and a Brazilian," Kaka said. "I
am really very happy. This helps me, and perhaps this will help Milan."
The new citizenship will make Kaka eligible to appear for Milan as a European
Union player, freeing up a place in the squad for a non-EU player. He will not
be eligible for the Italian squad, however, because he has already played for
The midfielder was a member of the Brazilian team that won its fifth World Cup
title in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, and a starter for the squad that reached
the quarter-finals of last year's tournament.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has become an indisputable starter for Brazil in
recent years, and has been constantly summoned by coach Dunga.
Kaka, whose full name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, played with Brazil
for the first time in January 2002 in a friendly against Bolivia. He has scored
16 goals in 46 matches with the national team.
He also played for the country's Olympic and under-20 teams, including at the
2001 World Youth Championship.