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Orlando City's Ribeiro: It's hard not to be star-struck alongside Real Madrid, AC Milan great Kaka

Orlando City midfielder Pedro Ribeiro admits it has been hard to remain focused on the job at hand in the early stages of his MLS career.

The 24-year old Brazilian finds himself with the Lions, one of two new MLS clubs in 2015, where fellow compatriot Kaka is the club's captain and star player.

Ribeiro has quickly formed a good understanding with the Real Madrid and AC Milan great, as evidenced by the weekend's 2-2 draw with Montreal Impact, when he scored and provided an assist for the Designated Player.

Of the opportunity to play with Kaka, one of Brazil's best-ever players, Ribeiro said: "It has been pretty crazy.

"As a pro athlete, you try not to be star-struck, but it is hard in this case when you're playing alongside a guy who has won everything and who is not just a great player but a great person.

"With time, you do start to get used to it and you try to treat him as just another guy. But it is still Kaka, you know?"

Ribeiro added: "I watched Kaka for Sao Paulo when he was 17, 18, and he just did some amazing things.

"He is eight years older than me, but I followed his career when he went to Milan for the first time and then Real Madrid. I certainly never imagined he would be my teammate one day, and I count it as a huge privilege.

"We do have an advantage in sharing the same language and, on the field, we can discuss things in Portuguese, especially at free kicks and corner kicks, so we will continue to make use of that, I hope. And like I said, it's Kaka, you know?"

Former Philadelphia Union man Ribeiro will get his next chance to play in conjunction with Kaka when Orlando City host DC United at the Citrus Bowl this weekend.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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