Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, commonly known as Roberto Carlos, was a Brazilian soccer player. Famous for his outstanding speed and bullet-like shots, his remarkable style made him one of the biggest Brazilian legends. Throughout his career, he played in many different first-class teams. He left a legacy that is remembered to this date, years after his retirement.
Little children, teens, and even adults compared themselves to Roberto Carlos. They ran or kicked a booming free kick during an amateur match, and his name was the first to be heard. Let’s revise his career, achievements, and facts you probably didn’t know about him until now.
Roberto Carlos was born on 10 April 1973 in Garça, Brazil. His professional career began at União São João, a soccer club in the state of São Paulo. Despite this was not a famous squad and the left back’s young age of 19, he was called for the Brazilian national team. During that same year, he was also sent as a loan to Atlético Mineiro. He played there for one year and joined the club’s tour of Europe. Due to his lack of experience, he played for the B team.
In 1993, Roberto Carlos joined Palmeiras. He played for two seasons and won two Brazilian league titles. During that time, he played a total of 162 matches and scored 16 goals. His superb performance took him to choose between Aston Villa and Inter Milan. After some hesitation, the Brazilian legend inclined for the Italian club.
During his short stay in Milan, Roberto Carlos scored 7 goals in 34 matches. He was already displaying a hint of what would be a successful career. However, some misunderstandings with coach Roy Hodgson took him to leave the club. Apparently, the coach wanted him to play in a different position. According to Roberto Carlos’ own words, he spoke to the club’s owner “to see if he could sort things out, and it soon became clear that the only solution was to leave.” Surprising as it may sound, this decision took him to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Roberto Carlos’ transfer to Real Madrid was no complex process. As soon as rumors of the left back’s transferable condition got to Fabio Capello’s ears, he immediately sent a representative to Italy. Negotiations took less than a day. The player received his emblematic number 3 shirt and got to the first team. He never lost this condition throughout his ten years playing for the Merengues.
During his successful ten seasons playing for Real Madrid, Roberto Carlos appeared in 370 La Liga matches. Breaking Alfredo Di Stéfano’s previous record of 329 as a foreign player, he scored 47 goals in that competition. In total, Roberto Carlos played 527 matches and scored 69 goals. In February 1998, he scored one of his most memorable goals against Tenerife. It was then described as an “impossible goal.”
As regards titles, Roberto Carlos’ career in the club nicknamed “Los Galácticos” was no surprise. Four league titles, three Spanish Supercopa, three UEFA Champions League titles, and two Intercontinental Cups are just some of the awards won by the Brazilian legend.
Fenerbahçe: A Bumpy Road
On 19 June 2007, Roberto Carlos signed a two-year contract with Fenerbahçe. The club fans didn’t have to wait much for his first title with them. In fact, his first official match was the Turkish Super Cup final against Beşiktaş. The score was 2-1 for Fenerbahçe, which awarded them as champions. As a plus, his first goal came about a month later. A diving header from the 1.68 m tall player against Sivasspor at a league match.
However, Roberto Carlos’ experience as a Fenerbahçe was not as successful. An injury kept him off the field during the final stage of the Turkish league. His team lost the title race against Galatasaray. On 7 October 2009, he announced he wouldn’t keep on playing for the Turkish club once his contract expired.
After deciding not to renew his expired contract with Fenerbahçe, Roberto Carlos had two alternatives: returning to Real Madrid or returning to his homeland. After 15 years abroad, he signed with Corinthians, sharing teams with his former colleague and Brazilian star, Ronaldo. He played for the Brazilian squad for two years and left due to a lack of safety.
During his two seasons in the Russian soccer league, Roberto Carlos played 28 games and scored 5 goals. Unfortunately, the most relevant event in his final stage as a soccer player was not related to sport. He underwent racist attacks from rival fans, resulting in his decision to retire from football.
Apart from displaying a superb performance with whichever club shirt he wore, Roberto Carlos became a key player for his national team. With 125 appearances and 11 goals, he was in charge of the first team left-side defending position for 14 years. His most famous goal wearing the Brazilian shirt was against France in 1997. It is considered one of the best free-kick goals to this date. The victim was the French goalkeeper Barthez.
Roberto Carlos also won several International titles with his national team. 2002 FIFA World Cup, two American Cups, and 1997 Confederations Cup are just some of them. We celebrate Roberto Carlos’ club and international career, as well as all of his individual achievements. Once again, at Inmersivo, Empointe’s learning platform, we salute a Latin American athlete who proved that effort and consistency are vital to success.
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