THE DELHI DYNAMOS HAS BEEN chasing big game for weeks in the market, and the latest name in their list is that of Brazilian superstar Roberto Carlos. While talks are in early stages, if things go right, Indian football fans can be treated to the world beater's presence in the Dynamos dugout, as their marquee manager.
Few will have forgotten what Roberto Carlos achieved in his playing career. The Sao Paulo-born left back represented the Brazil national team in 125 matches between 1992 and 2006, scoring 11 times. He was part of the squad that beat Germany in the 2002 World Cup final. He also helped Brazil win the FIFA Confederations Cup once and Copa America twice. And his free-kick against France in a 1997 Turnoi de France game is a part of football folklore. The unbelievable curve on the ball left keeper Fabien Barthez dumbfounded, and even inspired a scientific paper analyzing the ball's trajectory in detail. Many consider it to be the greatest free-kick of all time.
Roberto's club career is no less illustrious, with him picking up silverware wherever he went. With Palmeiras he won the Brazillian Serie A twice. Once he moved to Real Madrid he tasted major European success, winning the La Liga 4 times, and the UEFA Champions League thrice. He earned a total of 573 caps for various top-division clubs around the world, netting 65 goals along the way. His skills brought him individual recognition of the highest order as well; he won the Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Player of the Year (Silver) and UEFA Defender of the Year (twice). In 2004, Pele included him in his famous “FIFA 100” list, among the greatest footballers of all times.
Carlos started his managerial career in 2013 at Turkish Super Lig side Sivasspor. Next year he managed Akhisar Belediyespor, another club in the same league, before becoming Head Coach at Al Arabi SC in the Qatar Stars League, a position he occupies till date. He has not yet tasted silverware success in his coaching career, but all that might change if the talks with Delhi Dynamos come through.
The upcoming edition of ISL is all set to be even more competitive than the previous one, with none of the team being ruled out as title contenders. With a flurry of star names set to grace the tournament, the IMG-R operated league is sure to get a further boost in its stature if a name like Roberto Carlos is associated with the gala event. Indians have a widespread fondness for Brazilian players and their style of play and after Zico, the presence of Roberto Carlos, too, is sure to draw a lot of eyeballs to the country's domestic football.