Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha popular by the name Roberto Carlos is a 43 year old Brazilian retired footballer. He spent most of his career as a left-back. Roberto Carlos featured in the top ten free kick specialists of all time. He satisfies the criteria for being included in the top free kick specialists which include the following three parameters: first is frequency, which is a measure of how often the player scores from free kicks; second is importance which specifies how important the game was in which the free kick was scored; the last is legacy which specifies how the game was affected by the player’s free kicks.
Renowned by his nickname el hombre bala which means ‘the bullet man’, Carlos mastered the powerful bending free kicks, measured at over 105 miles per hour. Carlos has left a legacy on the game which is said to have inspired the styles of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juninho. As opposed to the traditional style of bending the ball over the wall, Carlos drove the ball at the goal with brute force, which was a different style.
Carlos brought this different style into the mainstream while all the other players played with the traditional approach. One of the most reminisced kicks of Carlos is his goal against France. Carlos is also famous for these qualities: his huge stamina, a great running speed, unparalleled technical skills, crossing ability, long throw-ins and 24-inch thighs.
Roberto Carlos had the best free kick ability in his era
Some of the celebrated achievements of Carlos corroborate the fact that he had the best free kick ability in his era. In February 1998, Carlos scored his most spectacular and reminisced goal for Real Madrid in a match against Tenerife which had a bending volley strike. This was an awe-inspiring and incredible goal. Carlos was enlisted as a runner-up in 1997 as the FIFA World Player of the Year. On account of his best lefty backs in the history, he secured a place in the Dream Team of the FIFA World Cup. He has played in three World Cups.
Carlos featured in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 1998 and 2002 after he helped the team make it to the finals in 1998 in France. In 1996, Carlos joined Real Madrid and stayed there for 11 successful seasons, during which he participated in 584 matches in all competitions and scored a good 71 goals. At Real Madrid Carlos’ achievements include La Liga titles four times and three times the UEFA Champions League. Carlos also assisted fellow player Zinedine Zidane in his winning goal in 2002 which is considered one of the greatest goals in Champions League history. Coming to his international career, Roberto Carlos garnered a total of 125 caps and also scored 11 goals for the Brazilian national team.
Carlos has represented Brazil three times at FIFA World Cups, four times at Copa América tournaments, and also at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1996 Olympic Games. Carlos is very famous for a free kick he made against France in the Tournoi de France 1997 ‘s inaugural match on 3 June, 1997. The ball he kicked curled so much which caused the ball boy ten yards to the right to duck instinctively fearing that the ball would hit him. But, the ball did curl back on target. It was a moment of surprise for the goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez, who was just standing in place. This particular manoeuvre is considered as to be Carlos’ greatest free kick of all time. This event took the world by awe and it could be seen in 2010, when a team of French scientists produced a paper that explained the trajectory of that the ball took after being hit by Carlos. Following the aforementioned facts, it is quite evident a fact that Roberto Carlos had the best free kick ability in his era.