By Shout-Africa – JUST LIKE A PRAYER … Kaka looks to the heavens after winning the Champions League with Milan
The Brazilian says football plays second fiddle in a life which has been devoted to Christianity.
Just weeks ago he became involved with the Billy Graham organisation in a TV campaign which had an astonishing effect in his homeland. It was nationally reported that: Hundreds of people were freed from demonic possession. Hardened criminals turned to Christianity in their thousands. Many more were cured of booze and drug addictions. A former voodoo princess turned to Christ.
As the campaign launched, Kaka told millions: “I truly cannot imagine my life without Christ. Everything I have accomplished, everything I have done in my life was because God has a plan and purpose for my life. The Bible says He will do more than we ever thought or imagined, and this is truly how it has been. If God wasn’t in my life, then my life certainly would not be like this.”
The Brazilian’s faith in God has been broadcast across the world via an iconic picture of him on his knees celebrating a goal and showing a T-shirt which proclaims, ‘I belong to Jesus.’
Kaka, 26, has won a World Cup and the Champions League as well as been named FIFA World Player of the Year. But he told 10 million fellow Brazilians that nothing compared with the peace of knowing and serving Christ.
He said: “I have been named best soccer player in the world. This for me was a great honour. But the greatest honour is serving Jesus Christ, because he gives me hope.”
Such is the depth of the star’s faith he refused to have sex before his marriage to Caroline. He said: “I am a great example. The majority of people say after marriage, they don’t like jumping into bed with their partner because there is no desire. However, this is not true, my wife is the person I love and it was worth waiting. A lot of people were surprised and shocked with me but I think it’s the best decision. I am an evangelist and I believe in those values. I think people need to prevent themselves from making love before marriage. Everyone has their opinion but I think it was worth the wait.”
The Brazilian’s faith in the Almighty was strengthened immensely in 2000 when he fractured his neck after cracking his head on the bottom of a swimming pool. Kaka said: “That helped shape me, principally as a person, but as a player too. It was a time in which I learned you have to give your best every single day because the next day you might not be able. The doctors said I was very lucky, that I could have been paralysed. But I think it was God — He saved me from something worse. I had gone to visit my grandparents in Caldas Novas in Brazil and I slipped on a swimming pool slide. When I fell into the water I hit my head on the bottom of the pool and twisted my neck, which caused a fracture of a vertebra. All I knew was that anyone with a broken neck would be disabled for life. The doctor told me I would not be able to play for at least three months, then they would be able to tell if I was going to fully recover. But after two months the injury had healed and I was able to resume my football career. That was when I knew God was looking after me and that He was on my side.”
Kaka says one of the chief influences on his footballing life has been Chelsea boss Phil Scolari. He said: “When I was just 20 he took me to the World Cup in 2002 and gave me the opportunity to be a champion which was very important.”
He said: “If things happen it’s because God has prepared me. God has great things for us.”