Kaká ‘pitch’ for Orlando FIFA show bid


Kaka joins Orlando Bid Image: Orlando Sports Commission

Kaká, the Brazilian soccer star who culminated his career playing for the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Orlando City SC (US) from 2015 to 2017, has become an Honorary Chairman of GO26, Orlando’s bid for selection as one of the 10 US Host Cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.

The Orlando City Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club in Orlando, Florida (US), which competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). Orlando City SC began play in 2015 as the 21st franchise in MLS, succeeding the USL Pro team of the same name.

The ‘Greater Orlando Sports Commission’ stated that the announcement comes in the wake of a big FIFA delegation touring nine US candidate Cities. The FIFA team kicked off its tour from Boston on September 15th and reached Orlando on September 18th. The delegation is led by Victor Montagliani, Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) President and FIFA Vice-President, accompanied by the Chief Tournament and Events Officer, Colin Smith.

Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

FIFA is a non-profit organization that describes itself as an international governing body of association football, futsal and beach football. It is the highest governing body of association football.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 23rd FIFA World Cup™, the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA.

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission, City of Orlando, Orange County and Orlando City Soccer Club have assembled a team of community leaders from public and private sectors working hand-in-hand with the goal of bringing the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ to Orlando.

The ‘Greater Orlando Sports Commission’ further stated that more City visits are planned for later in the year. In total, 17 US Cities are competing for 10 selections in the final line-up to host the sporting extraordinaire.

The tours will include stadium inspections, information gathering, presentations, and detailed negotiations with the City authorities.

Stated Kaká, “Orlando has become a home for soccer in the US and deserves to host the greatest soccer event on the planet. It provides all the infrastructure top athletes need, as well as plenty of hospitality and entertainment for the fans. It’s a great honor to lend my international soccer experience and become part of the GO26 bid team. I joined the Orlando City MLS franchise from its inception and have witnessed not only incredible growth but genuine passion for the sport. Orlando has a special place in my heart.”

For the Greater Orlando Sports Commission and its President-cum-CEO, Jason Siegel, the inspection visit is a major milestone – “We have been working towards this for a year – it’s an incredibly important moment for us and for our 450-strong organizing committee, who have worked alongside us since 2017. The endorsement of Kaka is very valuable, because he sees this City – and our wonderful facilities – through the eyes of a World Cup winner. With 48 teams competing in 2026, everything has to be right for the players and fans.”

During an extraordinary career, Kaka was described as ‘the complete player’ by Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, following his selection as the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year. Kaka’s Brazil and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League winning AC Milan (Italian professional football club) teammate Ronaldinho described him as the best player in the world: “There was nothing he couldn’t do”.

Orlando is America’s most visited destination, with 75+ million incoming tourists a year and is the second fastest growing City in the US.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be played in 16 Cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States. The selection process by FIFA to narrow down the list of US Candidate Host Cities is underway now and results will be announced in due course. It is projected that FIFA will select 10 US venues, in addition to the three venues in Canada and three venues in Mexico.

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