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Revealed: How Roberto Carlos nearly joined Birmingham

Roberto Carlos

The Brazilian left-back was lined up for a move to the west Midlands outfit way back in 1995 after scoring in the Umbro Cup at Everton's Goodison Park

Roberto Carlos has revealed he came close to securing a switch to Birmingham City before making a name for himself as one of the best left-backs in the world.

Carlos was just one illustrious member of Brazil's star-studded 1998 and 2002 World Cup squads and, in an interview with The Daily Mail, he claimed he was close to a move to Birmingham City to link up with Barry Fry in 1995.

The former Real Madrid man was just making his way into the Brazil setup at the time and scored a stunning free-kick in the Umbro Cup that year at Goodison Park to attract admiring glances from scouts present to witness his inaugural international strike.

"It was a beautiful goal," Carlos said. "It had speed as usual and swerve. That was when my career with the national side began. And this tournament was significant because at the time I had an offer from an English club - Birmingham. I remember it to this day.

"But it didn't work out because Uniao Sao Joao were asking for too much money."

Middlesbrough were also believed to be in the running to snap up the talented full-back but ultimately moved to Italy, where he would play under the watchful eye of now England manager Roy Hodgson at Inter Milan.

And Carlos believes the temperament and style of Brazilian players has put paid to several players' chances of making it in England, including himself.

"Now we have Ramires, David Luiz, Lucas Leiva, Willian and Oscar," said Carlos, who became even more famous for his free-kick taking ability when he swerved the ball beyond Fabian Barthez against France at Le Tournoi in 1997.

"But it could be because we are not very responsible when we don't have the ball. When we have the ball we look to enjoy ourselves but when we haven't got it you need to adapt to the mentality of these people. And this can take a while. You have to adapt yourself.

"Sign a German player, or an Italian player or even an Englishman and you will get that style of play.

"But it's different to the Spanish or the Turkish league, or the German league where there are many Brazilians."

image: © Шуклин Евгений

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