Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, known simply as Roberto Carlos, is a Brazilian former professional footballer. He was born on April 10, 1973 in Garça, São Paulo. Roberto Carlos is regarded as one of the best left backs in the history of the game.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Roberto Carlos was born in a poor family and had a difficult childhood. His passion for football began at a young age when he used to play barefooted with a sock stuffed with newspapers as his family could not afford a real football.
At age 14, he began his youth career playing with União São João. He helped them win the São Paulo state youth championship in 1988. His impressive performances caught the attention of Brazilian club Palmeiras who signed him in 1993.
Success with Real Madrid
In 1996, Roberto Carlos joined the Spanish giants Real Madrid. This turned out to be an extremely fruitful association as he went on to achieve legendary status with Los Blancos. Some highlights:
- 3 Champions League titles (1998, 2000, 2002)
- 4 La Liga titles (1997, 2001, 2003, 2007)
- 3 UEFA Super Cups (1998, 2000, 2002)
- 4 Spanish Super Cups (1997, 2001, 2003, 2008)
- 2 Intercontinental Cups (1998, 2002)
With his marauding runs down the left flank, Roberto Carlos reinvented the role of a full back. He formed a deadly partnership with compatriot Ronaldo and club legend Raúl.
Roberto Carlos earned his first cap for Brazil in 1992 and soon established himself as a key member of the national team. Some major highlights:
- FIFA World Cup winner in 2002
- Confederation Cup winner in 1997 and 2005
- Copa America winner in 1997 and 1999
- 125 caps and 11 goals for Brazil
He scored the winning goal against England with a superb bending free kick in the 1996 Tournoi de France. This type of shot that swerves in mid air became one of his trademarks.
Playing Style and Records
Roberto Carlos revolutionized the role of a full back with his swashbuckling runs deep into opposition territory. His combination of sheer power, pace and technical ability made him a formidable opponent. He was also an excellent set piece specialist with his powerful left foot.
Best Left Back Ever
He is regarded by pundits and fellow players as arguably the best left back ever. Some of the records he set support this claim:
- Most assists in La Liga history for a defender (95)
- Brazil’s most capped defender of all time (125 caps)
- Real Madrid’s foreign player with 3rd most appearances (527)
Incredible Stamina and Work Rate
In addition to his attacking prowess, Roberto Carlos also had tremendous stamina and work rate. He tirelessly covered the entire left flank match after match without compromising on quality.
After 11 trophy-laden years at Real Madrid, Roberto Carlos signed for Turkish giants Fenerbahçe in 2007 where he spent two seasons. He then moved back to his first club in Brazil, Corinthians before ending his career at Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala.
Roberto Carlos retired from professional football in 2012 at age 39. Both Real Madrid and Brazil retired jersey number 3 in his honor following his retirement.
Soon after retirement, Roberto Carlos took up coaching. Some highlights:
- Managed Turkish club Akhisar Belediyespor during the 2013-14 season
- Coached Indian Super League club Delhi Dynamos FC in the 2014 season
- Appointed manager of South American club Sivasspor in 2020
Roberto Carlos married Mariana Luccon in 2005 and they have two children together – Eduardo and Rebeca. Eduardo is following his father’s footsteps as a left back.
He suffered tragic personal losses when his sister and mother died within months of each other in 2002 while he was playing at the FIFA World Cup.
Roberto Carlos is actively involved in various charity activities with organizations like FIFA Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and UNICEF.
According to multiple reports, Roberto Carlos has a net worth of approximately $35 million as of 2022. During his club career, he earned lucrative contracts playing for top sides like Real Madrid, Corinthians and Anzhi Makhachkala. Lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Pepsi and Volkswagen also contribute to his wealth.
In conclusion, Roberto Carlos is considered a legend of the beautiful game for his numerous accomplishments. With his attacking flair, technical brilliance and work rate, he dominated the left flank for over a decade.
Both at club and international level, he won numerous trophies while setting several records. Off the field, he is actively involved in charity activities. Having won major silverware and millions of hearts, Roberto Carlos has secured his legacy as one of football’s all-time greats.
FAQs About Roberto Carlos
What is Roberto Carlos known for?
Roberto Carlos is known for being one of the most attack-minded and offensively talented left backs in history. He became legendary for his powerful free kicks, long range shooting, and marauding overlapping runs up and down the left flank.
Why did Roberto Carlos retire so early?
Roberto Carlos retired at the relatively young footballing age of 39 in 2012. He said he wished to retire while still playing at a high level rather than fade out. He had also been dealing with injuries and wanted to spend more time with family.
How many goals did Roberto Carlos score?
Roberto Carlos scored 113 goals during his illustrious club career spanning two decades. This is an exceptionally high number for a defender. For Brazil, he found the net 11 times in 125 international appearances.
Where did Roberto Carlos play?
During his distinguished club career, Roberto Carlos appeared for some of the biggest teams in Brazil, Spain, Turkey and Russia. These include – Palmeiras, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe, Corinthians, and Anzhi Makhachkala.
What number did Roberto Carlos wear?
Throughout his career, Roberto Carlos wore the number 3 jersey for every club he played for as well as the Brazilian national team. Number 3 was retired by Real Madrid and Brazil as a tribute following his retirement.