Kaka warns European stars coming to MLS: 'It's not going to be easy'

Orlando City midfielder Kaka has warned players coming from Europe to play in Major League Soccer should be ready to give 100 percent or suffer in America's top flight.

Kaka, 34, is entering the third and final year of his initial contract with the team and says he wants to stay in Orlando in future seasons if a new deal can be reached.

The Brazilian World Cup winner in 2002, who has also played with Real Madrid and won the Champions League with AC Milan , wants imports to MLS to know it's not going to be an easy transition.

"The [travel and climate] is difficult, but I don't think it's as a difficult as the mentality here," Kaka told ESPN FC at MLS Media Day on Wednesday. "Because sometimes the players arrive from Europe and they think it's going to be easy. They think, 'OK, I'm going there and I played in big clubs in Europe and it's going to be easy.'

"So this is the challenge the players need to understand is not going to be easy."

Over the last 10 years, MLS has seen imports like Robbie Keane, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Sebastian Giovinco come to the league at various points and meet with varying degrees of success. When Kaka was preparing to begin his first year with Orlando, he sought the advice of Beckham and his brother to make sure he knew what he was getting into.

He said: "So when I came here I said, 'it's going to be hard.' The performance of the players, physically they are so good. So I tried to speak with David [Beckham], my brother [Digao], who played in New York City with the Red Bulls.

"And they told me something that it's really difficult for us [to understand] because we are used to playing in a high level in Europe in the Champions League or something like that. And when you come here, this level of performance, it's a little bit lower than this other level.

"So then you think, just 50 percent of my performance is enough. But it's not good enough. You have to have this same 100 percent of performance to have results here. So I think that's the biggest problem that those players that come from Europe have here in America."

Orlando City has failed to reach the postseason in the first two years of the franchise's existence, and that's something that Kaka, who accounted for nine goals and nine assists in 2016, thinks the team can change during the upcoming campaign.

But he also realizes he's battling time as his career reaches its more advanced years.

"I think I have to face [getting older] every year," he said. "So I feel like every year people are going to say I'm old and this is a challenge for me because as a soccer player we have a place to answer that and it's on the field."

Orlando begin play in a brand-new downtown stadium on March 5 against New York City FC.