Former AC Milan player Kaka salutes the crowd during the Europa League game against Austria Vienna in Milan on November 23. Photo: Daniel dal Zennaro/EPA

RIO DE JANEIRO – Former Brazilian World Cup champion Kaka announced his retirement as a player on Sunday, suggesting that a management career at his old club AC Milan could be on the cards.

“I am preparing to continue in football and to have a different role, but I will no longer be a professional player, an athlete,” he told Globo television.

“I would like to take part in a club in a role more like... a manager, a sporting director – someone between the field and the club.”

Kaka, 35, said AC Milan “recently made this proposal”.

On his Twitter feed, the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner, who was part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning team, posted a prayer.

It read: “Father, It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you! I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus name. Amem.”

During a storied career, the attacking midfielder also starred at Real Madrid and finished his playing days at US club Orlando City in Major League Soccer.