The Leadership of a Legendary Athlete: One on One with Kaká

Published August 14, 2020


Leading YourselfResilience

Three and a half billion people are watching your every move—waiting for you to make a mistake or cheering you on for the goal of your career! The pressure and criticism could break the strongest soul —so what would it take to thrive under this kind of uncertainly and stress? In this candid interview, Claudia Tenório draws out ways in which Kaká has managed public scrutiny and praise, overcome setbacks, developed resilience and mental toughness, led those around him and leaned into his faith for strength.

About the Speaker(s)
Kaká Is one of our incredible 2020 faculty members for the The Global Leadership.


Brazilian Retired Soccer Phenomenon; FIFA World Player of the Year


A Brazilian football (soccer) legend, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, famously known as Kaká, is one of only eight players in history to have won the Ballon d'Or, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League. As the first sportsperson to amass 10 million followers on Twitter, he is considered one of the most famous athletes in the world. Starting his professional career as an attacking midfielder at the age of 18 with the Brazilian football club, São Paulo FC, he quickly became a critical member of the Brazilian national team. Before retiring in 2017, Kaká, spent most of his famed career with AC Milan and playing for Real Madrid. Additionally, he captained the inaugural campaign of the MLS Orlando City Football Club as its first designated player. Throughout his career, Kaká’s leadership on the field has earned many awards and achievements including the Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Player of the Year, MARCA Legend Award and AC Milan Hall of Fame. Listed to Time’s 100 Most Influential List for two consecutive years, he is also a UN Ambassador for the World Food Programme.