"I came to the conclusion that now is the time to finish my career as a professional player", the 35-year-old said in an interview with the Brazilian television network Globo.
"I prepared very hard to be a professional footballer and I want to prepare for this new role". He spent time with Sao Paulo, Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Orlando City, as well as time with the Brazilian national team. Kaka was the best paid of the entire competition with a salary of $7.2 million.
Kaka's retirement comes at the end of a three year spell with MLS side Orlando City, where he scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists in 75 league appearances.
A devout Christian, Kaka wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday: "Father, it was much more than I could ever [have] imagined".
Having lifted the World Cup with his country, he won the Champions League with Milan in 2007 and the Ballon d'Or, awarded to the world's best player, in the same year. Thank you and now I'm ready for the next journey.
"Then I asked some very close people, my parents, my brother, my girlfriend and my brother's wife".
He was back at the San Siro last month, taking in the Rossoneri's 5-1 Europa League win over Austria Vienna after spending the day visiting the club's new headquarters and meeting with the Serie A club's new owners.
He also added that he might continue taking part in the football world: "I will continue in football but in a different role".
But Kaka told Globo he intends to take on a sporting director role within the game and revealed a proposal from Milan featuring him playing initially before moving upstairs.