Kaka bids farewell to Orlando City: 'I will always be a Lion forever'
Kaka bid a tearful farewell to Orlando City on Sunday, saying he "will always be a Lion forever" after his final game following three years with the MLS club.
The Brazilian star confirmed last week that he would not renew his Orlando contract at the end of the year, and the emotion of the moment caught up him as he played his final home game, a 1-0 defeat to Columbus.
"It was hard to play sometimes. When I was on the field, a lot of things were on my mind and it was difficult to focus on the game," he said. "It was a really, really special game, and I wanted to finish with a win."
Kaka walked onto the pitch with his two children, and after the game took a long walk around the ground while thanking fans and teammates.
"Most of that was just to say thank you because a lot happened during these three seasons," he said. "And, at the end of the day, it is about what we can do as human beings. One day, I don't know when but soon, I will retire, but I will still have these guys as friends in the future."
Kaka will sit out the season finale in Philadelphia last week after failing to help Orlando reach the MLS playoffs in his three seasons, despite being the league's highest-paid player.
"Ultimately it wasn't about the results, but the things we could change here," Kaka said. "I have learned a lot from this city, this club. It has been a hard day but very happy as well."
Kaka will suit up for Orlando one more time for a hurricane relief benefit friendly later this year, and he said that sense of community has been what has made his time in Orlando so special to him.
"It's very good when you leave a place and the door is still open and that's what it feels like for me here," he said. "I will always have a relationship with this club and I will always be a Lion forever, supporting this team. For me it is most important that I could build a relationship with this club -- and the club is about people."
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