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Mon. 07 October 2019

Kaká graduates from the FGV/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Brazil

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, or perhaps better known as Kaká, received in August his Diploma from the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management organised in Brazil by the Fundaçaõ Getulio Vargas (FGV). A legendary footballer, "Ballon d'Or", World Champion, winner of the UEFA Champions League and many other competitions, here he gives us some impressions of the power of education, the challenges facing Brazilian sport and football in particular, the growth of women's football and a glimpse into his future after graduation.

What are the advantages of the FGV/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme? What aspects of the course were most useful to you?

I followed the Programme online for almost 12 months, with two face-to-face sessions in Rio de Janeiro where we were able to participate in conferences on topics related to "Sport and Development" and "Women in Sport", amongst others. It gave me the opportunity to better understand what it means to "manage" a sport entity. I was able to discover aspects of management that were not very familiar to me. Nevertheless, since the courses were closely linked to sport - a world I know much better - I learned essential, concrete concepts that will now be useful to me.

What can this Programme bring to Brazilian football and wider sport?

Its role is important. It allows the training of professionals whose objective is to work in sport. This is all the more important for football, which needs people who are able to manage their club or association effectively. There are still too many deficiencies in this area.

What are the biggest challenges facing Brazilian sport?

In my opinion, there are two. Firstly, the need for capable, well-trained managers, as I have just mentioned. Secondly, access to sustainable sources of income.

What do you think of Women's football?

When I played for Orlando City in the United States, I was able to see what Women's football really meant and how important it was. In recent years, it has grown significantly. It has broader support. Many opportunities are now available. But there is still a long way to go. We still have to work. Fortunately, I believe that many people are ready to fight for Women's football.

Who is the athlete you most admire?

Right now, it's Roger Federer, there's no doubt about it. I'm not saying that because the CIES headquarters are in Switzerland (laughs). It is obvious, he has an extraordinary game and he manages his career with great skill.

What is the best memory of your career? And the worst?

There are many moments I remember with emotion, including the victories at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the Champions League in 2007. Of course, there is also my "Golden Ball". The worst memories? The elimination of my team at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?

Talking about the gospel around the world based on sport.

Do you have a message for young people who want to become professional footballers?

It will take a lot of determination to achieve their goal, to realize their dream. Becoming a professional player requires a lot of preparation and sacrifice. But - it's worth it !

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