Roberto Carlos da Silva Roberto Carlos, full name Roberto Carlos da Silva (born April 10, 1973, Garça, São Paulo), is a Brazilian footballer, specializing as a wingback, currently playing for Real Madrid. Roberto Carlos is regarded as one of the best full backs of all time. He finished second to countryman Ronaldo in the 1997 FIFA World Player of the Year award poll. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He has amassed 132 caps, scoring 11 goals for the Brazilian national team, and he helped his country win the 2002 FIFA World Cup and finished runners-up in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. As of September 2006, Roberto Carlos is one of only six players to have appeared 100 times in the UEFA Champions League. Roberto Carlos is known for his trademark powerful free kicks, explosive speed and aggressive attacking plays, often leading swift counter attacks from the back of the field. Biography He played for Palmeiras and Inter Milan, before settling with Real Madrid in 1996, making him the team's longest serving foreign player. He became famous for scoring an incredible 37-yard free kick against France in June 1997 at the Tournoi de France, when the ball seemed to be heading wide off the leftmost man in the French wall, Didier Deschamps, before taking a devastating left swerve, leaving goalkeeper Fabien Barthez stunned. On June 24, 2005, Carlos was robbed by two gunmen while doing a live radio interview in the back seat of his car. However, the thieves did not harm him, merely taking his watch and the interviewer's cellular phone. On August 2, 2005, Carlos received dual Spanish and Brazilian citizenship. This proved important for Real Madrid, as it meant that he now counted as a European Union player, opening up one of the club's allowed three slots for non-EU players and enabling Real to sign fellow Brazilian star Robinho. After the elimination by France in the quarterfinal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he announced his retirement from international football. He was severely criticised by the press and the general public for his performance in the Cup, especially for failing to mark French striker Thierry Henry in the free kick crossed by Zinedine Zidane that was scored by Henry and ultimately led to Brazil's demise. During the 2005-06 season, he was linked with several clubs, most notably Chelsea FC. After the London club sold Asier del Horno to Valencia CF, Chelsea's only natural left back was Wayne Bridge. This increased speculation that Chelsea were looking to buy a left back, either Roberto Carlos or Ashley Cole. However, in late July 2006, Spanish, Turkish and French media sources claimed that Carlos had agreed terms with Istanbul giants Fenerbahçe SK. Fenerbahçe were showing increased ambition (also pursuing players like Sol Campbell) to mark their centennial season. On 6 September 2006, Roberto Carlos formally announced his international retirement from the Brazilian national team.
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