"El Hombre Bala"
Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, ‘The Bullet Man’, was the most attack-minded left-back football had ever seen. The enduring legacy of the Paulistano from Garça remains visible today on the wings of the world’s football pitches, from grassless fields with sticks for goalposts to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
Football is Art
Spoken of alongside the world’s greatest players, Roberto Carlos honed his craft at União São João. Spells at Atletico Mineiro, Palmeiras and Internazionale led him to become the unrivalled number one left-back in the world at Real Madrid, reinventing the position with a beguiling combination of rigid defensive solidity and samba-style attacking flair.
Eleven years at Los Blancos, four La Liga titles, three Champions League medals, two Copa América titles, one World Cup and that free-kick against France doesn’t tell the full story. His goals defied the laws of physics, his explosive power, strength and speed were mesmerising and he set new standards for how the beautiful game should be played. Roberto Carlos loved football and football loved Roberto Carlos.
The Man, The Legend
The world knew tough defenders and the world knew attacking maestros before Roberto Carlos but he was the creative genius who brought the two disciplines together the way a skilled conductor brings together a beautiful orchestra. He made a very difficult skill look easy, like he was born to do it…