Roberto Carlos wowed the world with his violently swerving free-kicks, formed an integral part of Real Madrid’s ‘Galactico’ side and helped Brazil win the FIFA World Cup™. Now the legendry left-wingback is trying to make his name in coaching.
Here, the 42-year-old chats to www.sc.qa about the Barcelona-Juventus showdown, Neymar’s progression, ‘the new Roberto Carlos’, Real’s appointment of Rafa Benitez, and Brazil’s chances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
*Roberto, you have plenty of experience lifting Champions League trophies, having won three in your career with Real Madrid, and providing that remarkable cross to Zinedine Zidane in the 2002 final. How do you see the showdown between Barcelona and Juventus?
*I see it very balanced, very even. People see Barcelona as favourites, but Juventus have outstanding players. It will be a difficult match for both teams, but I think Barcelona have a small advantage with the quality which they have.
You created a new style of attacking left-back which the world had not seen previously. *Who is the new Roberto Carlos? Do you see anyone with qualities like yours at present?
*Marcelo, he is the best.
*How have you seen the progression of your compatriot Neymar at Camp Nou?
*In a short time he will be the best in the world. I think he can help Brazil win the World Cup again.
*Your former club Real Madrid has just recently announced that Rafa Benitez will be their new coach. How do you see the move?
*Carlo Ancelotti was a fantastic coach. Now there is a new coach in Benitez, who is also a great coach and has a lot of experience and a history of past successes. I think he will do very well in Spanish football. Knowing Spanish he will feel at home and it will be an advantage for him.
*Are you still in touch with your colleagues at the club, and how have you followed the past season?
*I talk to Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas. It was a little bit bad for us the past season, but now there is the effort to play a great season coming up.
*Your country currently tops Group E at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand with two wins...
*Brazil are playing well in the tournament. We have a lot of quality in the team and the players. I have also seen the Qatar players, and above all I want to help them to grow and develop, through modern training sessions and by learning from Brazil as they progress towards 2022. With my experience at Champions League and World Cup level, I can transmit the importance of playing in a World Cup to the youngsters.
*Recent media reports have linked you with a move to Al Arabi in the Qatar Stars League. What do you think about the development of football in the the region - with Xavi also recently signing for Al Sadd - and is that where your future lies?
*The most important thing is that Qatar will host the World Cup in just a few years’ time, and they can attract players of a very high level, which will help to increase the level of Qatari football. I am very pleased to be in negotiations to coach in Qatar and to get to know Qatari football. We would form a great team as I share my experiences and help to make it the greatest World Cup of all time.
*Finally, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 begins shortly. Will you be tuning in to watch it?
*I follow all of the tournaments, and Brazil have a very strong team in Canada. They have great players with superb technical skills.