By Ben Steinson
“Do you do judo?” Asked one intrepid reporter.
“No, I don’t do judo, but I do do voodoo,” came the reply from the languid Roberto Carlos as he sipped his ice-cool margarita.*
Roberto Carlos is arguably the world’s greatest-ever left-back with a CV boasting 125 caps for Brazil, almost 600 appearances for Real Madrid, as well as appearances for a host of Europe’s top clubs – not to mention the meagre haul of one World Cup, three Champion’s Leagues, four La Liga titles and he was runner-up in 1997’s World Player of the Year Award (losing out to Ronaldo during his leaner years, this point will be important later) – not bad for a farmer’s son.
As impressive as those stats are, RC will be forever remembered for scoffing at Newton’s laws of the universe and bending what is likely to be the most amazing free-kick of our lifetime into the back of the net – the hapless Barthez is still standing in the mouth of the goal wondering how it was possible, he also cancelled his subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica after losing faith in modern science.
Perhaps it is fitting that the free-kick defied logic as RC himself tends to, he is said to practice a particularly potent blend of voodoo, ritual and religion named Macumba – which many allege, attributed to tournament-roommate Ronaldo’s relative no-show at the World Cup final in 1998 despite setting the competition alight in the preceding games. What went on that night? We may never know for sure, but I like to think it went something like this:
Ronaldo is lying on his bed reading his 1987 Viz annual, while Roberto Carlos is busy at the dresser playing with what look like knick-knacks. The cool tones of Chaz and Dave permeate the air.
R: What’re you doing, Roberto?
RC: Errr, nothin’ mate.
R: Is that a Subbuteo player in your hand?
RC: (Nervously) Yeah, Subbuteo…
R: Nice one, who is it?
RC: Ummm… Lillian Thuram.
R: Why is he buck-toothed with a yellow shirt? And what’s with all the pins?
RC: No reason. (Sinisterly) Oh and congratulations again on your World Player of the Year Award.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding the events of 1998, Roberto Carlos or as he’s better known: the Brazilian Dennis Iriwn will go down in the annals of history as not only one of the greatest left-backs, but also one of the greatest players – mad as a bag of spanners though, allegedly. http://www.surrealfootball.com