The last player to win the Ballon d'Or before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's extraordinary era of dominance, Kaka announced his retirement from professional football on Sunday.
In addition to claiming the most prestigious individual prize in the sport, the 35-year-old won Serie A, LaLiga, the Champions League and the World Cup in a career that saw him play for Sao Paulo, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Orlando City.
He also appeared 92 times for Brazil, starring alongside the likes of Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Robinho.
Here, we pick out some career highlights and key moments of the Rossoneri and Selecao favourite.
World Cup glory | 2002
Kaka's early efforts for Sao Paulo earned him a place in the squad for the World Cup in Japan and Korea.
His only appearance was off the bench in a 5-2 group-stage win over Costa Rica in Suwon, the newcomer replacing Rivaldo, who netted Brazil's third to go with Ronaldo's brace and strikes from Edmilson and Junior.
The brilliant front three of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo kept Kaka out of the team after that as the Selecao secured what remains the most recent of their five World Cup successes under Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Scudetto success | 2003-04
Milan swooped to sign Kaka for what now appears to be a paltry €8.5million, and he repaid them by setting up the Andriy Shevchenko header that sealed the Scudetto ahead of the chasing Roma side led by former Rossoneri coach Fabio Capello.
Champions League final pain | 2005
Kaka ended up on the losing side of the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, where Liverpool rallied from 3-0 down to beat Milan on penalties.
Often forgotten thanks to that extraordinary comeback is the brilliance of Kaka's assist for Milan's third goal, a piercing throughball that split the Liverpool centre-backs and fell perfectly for Hernan Crespo to dink over Jerzy Dudek.
Brazil 3-0 Argentina | 2006
Many supporters attending the glamour friendly between Argentina and Brazil at the newly opened Emirates Stadium in September 2006 were hoping to see something special from emerging Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
But their abiding memory of the fixture was the sight of the future superstar chasing in vain as Kaka collected a cleared Argentina corner and dribbled mesmerizingly from inside his own half before sliding a finish past Roberto Abbondanzieri to net a stunning solo goal in the 88th minute.
European heroics and Ballon d'Or | 2007
Manchester United were approaching one of their many peaks under Alex Ferguson in 2006-07, Premier League winners and a season away from capturing the second Champions League crown of the Scot's glittering tenure.
But they were denied a shot at European glory in April 2007 due to a virtuoso display from Kaka, one of the finest of his career, in the semi-finals.
He netted twice in the first leg at Old Trafford, where United rallied from 2-1 down to win 3-2, and then opened the scoring in a comfortable 3-0 victory back at San Siro, before Milan gained revenge on Liverpool in the decider in Athens.
Kaka had already scored as Milan overcame Celtic and Bayern Munich earlier in the knockout rounds, with his efforts on the European stage deservedly earning him the Ballon d'Or.
Manchester City transfer saga | 2009
Kaka could have joined Robinho at Manchester City in January 2009, as new owner Sheikh Mansour sought to make a huge statement early in his overhaul of the perennial Premier League strugglers.
A fee of £91million and salary of £500,000 had reportedly been proposed, but the Brazilian remained in Italy, with City chief executive Garry Cook indicating fault for the collapsed move appeared to lie with the Rossoneri.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "In my personal opinion, they [Milan] bottled it."
However, Kaka later claimed it was his decision not to go through with the transfer.
"Negotiations went very far indeed," he told FourFourTwo.
"The only thing separating City and I was my final word."
Madrid derby stunner, LaLiga title triumph | 2011-12
Despite rejecting City, Kaka's Milan days were numbered, as he joined Real Madrid for €67 million in June 2009.
That transfer was quickly eclipsed by the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United and Kaka never quite reproduced his best Milan form at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Ronaldo instead went on to become the club's talisman and dominant force.
There were still flashes of Kaka's genius in Spain, though, among them a stunning long-range strike in the derby against Atletico Madrid in 2011-12, the season when Kaka claimed his lone Liga title under Jose Mourinho.
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Harden posts record fourth 50-point triple-double in win over Lakers|
|Barcelona squad happy with Dembele, says Alba|
|Chargers rally past Chiefs to clinch playoff spot|
|WATCH: Chargers top Chiefs on dramatic two-point conversion in final seconds|
|Suns owner Sarver committed to keeping team in Phoenix|
|Chargers WR Allen leaves with injury after near-spectacular catch|
|Socceroos not giving up on Mooy for Asian Cup|
|Cooper says Raiders owner wanted to trade him to Cowboys|
|Pochettino jokes Levy is ´worried´ about losing him|
|Barcelona would welcome Morata – Alba|
|Toure not a priority for West Ham – Pellegrini|
|Koscielny no certainty to face Southampton, says Emery|
|We gifted the game – AC Milan boss Gattuso furious after Europa League exit|
|My season starts now, says Koscielny|
|Cipriani ´at peace´ with latest England snub|
|Laporte: Deschamps must have personal reasons for France snub|
|Morata injury not too serious, claims Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks coach returning focus to World Cup defence|
|I want to fight the champion! - Joshua reiterates Wilder in April ambition|
|Gundogan glad to leave Christmas holidays behind|
|I know how it feels and it hurts - Gundogan on Sterling abuse|
|Celtic 1 Red Bull Salzburg 2: Scottish champions through despite defeat|
|Olympiacos 3 AC Milan 1: Rossoneri crash out of Europa League|
|Arsenal 1 Qarabag 0: Lacazette on target as Saka shines|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks will take time to name replacement|
|Chelsea condemn alleged anti-Semitic chanting from fans|
|Hansen to leave: The best Opta facts from New Zealand coach´s tenure|
|Hansen to leave: Five contenders to be the next All Blacks coach|
|Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign|
|Hansen to leave All Blacks after World Cup|
|Rapid Vienna 1 Rangers 0: Late Ljubicic winner sends Gerrard´s men out|
|Beckham continues to miss Giants practice with quad injury|
|Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: Giroud spares Sarri´s side in lacklustre draw|
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|