When great players go off to the great exile of the football world, meaning they leave the bigger and more known leagues in Europe and play mostly for money for a rich Russian, Arab or Chinese club. Roberto Carlos left Real Madrid after the 2006-2007 season. Since then, for many of the less globally aware football fans, he’s been retired.
Greatest left back in the history of the game? I’m not sure about his defending skills, which were never his specialty and strongest trait. Roberto Carlos was famous for being a left back that could create the amount of chances as a prolific striker would. For many years, his left foot was the most feared in the world. He didn’t score as many free kick goals as many people tend to think, but there was always that vibe in the air whenever he began his run-up before taking a set piece.
After winning four La Liga titles with Real Madrid, he was shown the way out, opting to sign for quite a handsome fee with Fenerbahce in Turkey, where he could still dominate and be influential like he couldn’t anymore while playing in Spain for a demanding club like Real Madrid. He never won any league titles with Fenerbahce, but the fans loved him and he enjoyed a very emotional farewell before taking his talents back to Brazil.
The last chapter of his footballing career began in 2011, signing for Anzhi Makhachkala. Roberto Carlos found an immediate connection with the club, and no one was surprised to see him remain in some sort of board capacity. Roberto Carlos’ bigger influence in the short time he played for Anzhi was attracting players to sign for the club, although the money they were offered played a big part as well.
Now the 2002 World Champion, a man who was in two FIFA world cup all-star teams, the 2002 UEFA defender of the year and twice a member of UEFA’s team of the year has hung up his cleats, trying to promote a club that’s dying for attention and titles, so far going in the right direction thanks to the millions spent over there, trying to buy their way to the top of Russian football and hopefully get a foothold in a continental way as well. But Roberto Carlos? He hasn’t been relevant to the global game for nearly 5 years, with many thinking he retired the day he stopped playing for Real Madrid.