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Full Version: Can Kaka kick it for Brazil in the World Cup?
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Devout mid-fielder has had a dull patch but may still shine in South Africa.

BOSTON — Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, more commonly known to his legion of soccer fans as Kaka, knows a great deal about redemption.

But almost all that the 28-year-old Brazilian superstar knows stems from a faith that has cast him as the most prominent face in his country’s burgeoning evangelical Christian movement.


It is an unusual role in a nation where soccer superstars — and Brazil’s have numbered among the most storied in the history of the game — have tended toward lifestyles that were every bit as flashy as their game. Kaka is, above all, devout — on and off the field. He celebrates victories with prayer and wears T-shirts and soccer shoes that are branded in his faith: “I Believe in Jesus” or “God is Faithful.” He extols the virtues of “The Book,” has revealed publicly that he and his wife were virgins when they married in 2005 and rocks to gospel music. (His favorite band is Resgate — “Redemption” in Portuguese.)

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