Brazilian soccer star Kaká signed a multi-year contract on Tuesday with Orlando City, a new Florida franchise scheduled to join Major League Soccer in January 2015.
Team spokesman Jhamie Chin said the club would not release the length of the contract or the dollar amount. The club's Brazilian-born owner, Flávio Augusto da Silva, said on his Facebook page that the deal was for three years through the end of the 2017 season.
Kaká, 32, on Monday opted out of his deal with AC Milan and flew to Orlando for the signing and the official announcement. He will be formally introduced to fans on Tuesday afternoon at a downtown World Cup viewing party featuring the USA team against Belgium for a place in the quarter-finals.
“This is one of the biggest signings Major League Soccer has ever had. Kaká could have gone to any team in the world and he chose Orlando,” Chin said.
The deal with Orlando allows Kaká, whose full name is Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, to play for six months through the end of this year for his home club, São Paulo.
Chin said Kaká called the move a “dream,” adding that he was looking forward to helping realize the team's plan to become global soccer powerhouse.
“I think when (team owner) Flavio explained that to Kaka and showed him the interest that was building in Orlando, it was a no-brainer for him,” Chin said.
Kaká, an attacking midfielder, won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2007, and played for the World Cup-winning Brazil national team in 2002.
Chin said the signing was almost as significant as Englishman David Beckham’s 2007 move to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham currently is trying to bring an MLS franchise to Miami.