Brazil legend Kaka visited Manchester United’s training complex on Monday as part of his studies towards UEFA’s ‘Masters for International Players’ qualification.
The former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder was spotted in the Old Trafford crowd on Sunday as Erik ten Hag’s side recorded an impressive 3-1 win against high flying Arsenal.
And after the full-time whistle, Kaka walked down from the stands to meet up with former Los Blancos teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 40-year-old, who announced his retirement in 2017 after turning down offers from former clubs Sao Paulo and AC Milan, also bumped into Antony, Casemiro and a group of Arsenal’s Brazilian contingent… and Cedric Soares.
So what was Kaka doing at Carrington on Monday?
As mentioned earlier, the former midfielder is taking part in UEFA’s Masters for International Players [MIP] programme – a course that gives former players a toolkit to lay the foundations for off the field success.
Basically, they ensure footballers are equipped for a second career in football administration and management.
A number of former footballers, including the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Sami Khedira and Nigel de Jong, are involved in the MIP programme that kicked off in November 2021.
According to UEFA’s website, they will all acquire professional skills in the classroom in order to transition into their post-footballing careers.
The MIP course comprises of seven week-long sessions staged in major global cities, with each session examining a different aspect of the administration and governance of a sports organisation.
In addition, players not already working within a sports body must complete a three-month work placement to ensure they have hands-on, day-to-day experience.
Kaka, for example, spent a day at United’s Carrington training facility this week and by the looks of it, he spent some of his time with one of the club’s youth teams.
Former Paris Saint-Germain defender Maxwell, now UEFA chief of football development, was a participant in the second edition of the UEFA MIP.
He believes it has played a key role in helping him to transition into a successful second career.
“It was the perfect programme for me once I decided to go into sports administration,” he said.
“I was looking in France; I was looking in different countries for some kind of programme, and, suddenly, I heard from former players who enrolled on the first edition of the UEFA MIP.
“They were talking really highly about the programme, so, for me, it was the perfect programme, to shift from the player’s perspective to the perspective of working for an administration.”