sport

Orlando talk up Kaka capture

Orlando City president Phil Rawlins says the signing of Brazil superstar Kaka sends out a message that the new MLS franchise mean business heading into their inaugural season.

Former FIFA World Player of the Year and World Cup winner Kaka was presented by Orlando on Tuesday as the team's first 'Designated Player' after the 32-year-old decided to leave AC Milan in search of a new challenge.

It was confirmed that Kaka would return to his first club Sao Paulo on loan for six months before returning to the United States to link up with Orlando on January 1, 2015 ahead of their maiden MLS season.

Orlando chief Rawlins believes Kaka's capture shows they are not prepared to be makeweights in their first year.

"We not only brought a Brazilian superstar, we brought a world superstar," Rawlins said on www.mlssoccer.com. "Today we put MLS on notice. We may be franchise number. 21, but we're not here to make up the numbers.

"We're here to win and we're here to play, and what better way to do that than to sign a winner in Kaka."

Kaka, whose second spell at Milan came to an end after he exercised a get-out clause after the Italian giants' failure to qualify for European football next season, admitted he has had other options in the past but has been sold on what Orlando City are looking to do.

The former Real Madrid playmaker, who has long-standing friendship with Orlando owner and fellow Brazilian Flavio Augusto da Silva, said: "They said to me that they had this dream to get a team and build an amazing team in America.

"So from 2012 until now we have been speaking a lot, flirting a lot until today that we signed this final contract and I'm so happy for that. It's a dream come true.

"I've been speaking with other teams two years ago. I had the opportunities to go to New York.

"In the end I think God had another special thing for me in Orlando. And so I'm happy because for me it's a very nice project.

"We can build a lot of good things here in Orlando and also because Flavio is Brazilian, for the Brazilian people it's nice to have this focus now on America and American football."