Roberto Carlos reveals three English clubs he almost joined and why deals fell through


Roberto Carlos is one of the greatest left-backs of all-time but despite spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid next moved over to the Premier League – despite getting close with Aston Villa, Birmingham and Chelsea

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Brazil legend Roberto Carlos revealed how close he came to joining Chelsea – and also snubbed moves to Aston Villa and Birmingham City.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich tried to sign Carlos in 2007 when he was a free agent while an unlikely move to the Midlands cropped up when he was still a youngster.

Carlos said: “I was very young with Aston Villa, I was very young with Birmingham City and then with Chelsea, the only thing I didn’t do was sign a contract.

“I was already playing with the Brazil team by then, it was around 93 or 94, I was not that young. I could have gone to England at the time but the coaches said I was too young.

“The one who took the decision at the time was Peter Kenyon at Chelsea. There were some details in the contract that he did not like. In any case, nor did I.

Roberto Carlos came ‘very close’ to joining Chelsea after meeting with owner Roman Abramovich


2007 Getty Images)

“But just to have the interest from Chelsea was an honour, I spoke to Abramovich at the time. Before adding with a laugh: “But I did not want to dispute the position with Ashley Cole!”

On his admiration for James Ward-Prowse

Roberto Carlos has revealed his admiration for Southampton ’s free kick specialist James Ward-Prowse.

Ward-Prowse is closing in on David Beckham’s record of 18 goals from free kicks in the Premier League and Carlos generously admitted his ex-Real Madrid team mate was better at set pieces than him.

Carlos said: “I watch all of the Premier League games and the Championship so I know all of the players and their capabilities. I like Ward-Prowse very much, he seems to train properly and seems very good at set pieces.

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“It was not really a rivalry with Beckham because we were friends but there was an argument between us about who could kick the furthest. Beckham was No1 in terms of quality.

“Without doubt, my favourite was the one against France. But there was one I played in with Palmeiras and Gremio in 1994, it was at the beginning of my career and from then on that’s when people got to know about Roberto Carlos.”

On FIFAs plans for biannual World Cup

Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has backed FIFA’s plans for a biennial World Cup and overhaul of the global calendar.

Carlos believes the fixture list puts too much strain on players, they do too much travelling and a streamlined calendar would help the African Cup of Nations and also give players the chance to play in more World Cups.

World Cup winner Carlos, who took part in discussions with FIFA in Doha last year, said: “Players now get injured too much, they travel too much and games get played outside of the right season like the African Cup of Nations, for example.

“I understand the interests but the players are tired. It’s unfair on the players. We have to analyse as much as possible. FIFA and UEFA have to come to sort of agreement over what is best for the players.

“It gives other countries the chance to participate and it gives players the pride of having played in a World Cup and playing more often can give players the chance to play in eight or ten World Cups perhaps.”

Roberto Carlos looks back on his career with many fond memories and has no intention of walking away from football
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