WHEN KYLE MCFADDEN PARTED company with Norwich City in the summer, the Ramelton native was at the crossroads.
Now, he’s looking forward to playing alongside legendary Brazilian Kaka in the Maracana Stadium, the Cathedral of football, in the colours of Orlando City SC tomorrow (Sunday).
“You never know what is around the corner in football,” McFadden (pictured above right) told the Eastern Daily Express. “When I left Norwich I went to a few places in England but it didn’t work out. Some managers have their way of playing and I didn’t fit in. That is fine.”
“Adrian Heath, the Orlando manager, had seen me play and because I was a free agent they wanted to sign me up. Thankfully I have got a three-year deal here now so I want to progress in the MLS. When I was at Norwich there was a possibility this could happen because I was told the Orlando management were big fans.
“At that stage I didn’t really buy into it at the time because my priority was to stay in England and hopefully get a new deal at Norwich. I spoke to my management again in the summer and they said Orlando still want you and to get over there as soon as possible. I didn’t have to go on trial or anything, I actually signed the deal in England.”
It’s been a whirlwind few months for the 20-year-old former Swilly Rovers central defender who was Republic of Ireland Under-19 captain and helped Norwich to the 2013 FA Youth Cup following a two-legged final win over Chelsea.
Tomorrow, Orlando face Flamengo on Sunday at the stadium that hosted the 2014 World Cup final as part of the Rio-based club’s 120th anniversary celebrations.
Over 200,000 attended the Maracana Stadium in 1950 when Uruguay defeated Brazil to win the World Cup.
Kaka, Massimo Ambrosini, and Andrea Pirlo, celebrate with the Champions League trophy after Milan defeated Liverpool at the Olympic Stadium in Athens in 2007
Kaka – who won a host of honours including the 2007 Champions League with AC Milan, La Liga with Real Madrid in 2011/12 and the 2002 World Cup with his native Brazil – has since joined the Florida-based side.
“It’s mad. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard. I can’t wait for it. It’s unbelievable,” said McFadden. “Kaka is a massive signing for Orlando and of course in Brazil he is a legend. The first three or four days when I arrived at the club were a bit surreal, going out onto the training pitch with Kaka. Now he is just one of the lads. We are all together and we do things together after training. We are mates, the same as in any team.”
McFadden plans to spend the Christmas break between Norwich, where his girlfriend Ella is from, and at home in Ramelton. Pre-season gets underway on Janaury 20 back in Orlando ahead of the March kick-off in the MLS.