Topic Originator: wee eck
Date: Fri 4 Mar 16:27
Roberto Carlos won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 - but it was a different story as he tasted defeat on his debut for a Shropshire pub team. It is hard to believe that the 48-year-old had ever witnessed a scene like the Hanwood village recreation ground, with the noise of primary school children playing just a few yards away wafting across the pitch. Yet that is where he found himself, having been won by Bull In The Barne FC after they bought a £5 ticket for a `dream transfer raffle` on eBay, which was part of their Football Beyond Borders charity campaign.
The prize was a one-off appearance by the man whose fantastic free-kick for Brazil against France in 1997 is recognised as one of the game`s most iconic goals. Bull In The Barne play in the Shrewsbury & District Sunday league, but the Brazilian`s appearance was finally arranged for a Friday friendly against Harlescott Rangers, with an 11:00am GMT kick-off - and despite him tucking away a penalty, they lost 4-3. Conditions were not ideal for a thoroughbred footballer - even one whose best days are now on Youtube - as the teams tried to combat an increasingly soggy pitch.
"A few of the lads have probably had to pack some armbands because it`s going to get really wet down that far side in the second half," winger George Robinson told BBC Radio Shropshire before kick-off. It will be good to see what he makes of it and how he performs on this type of surface."
Carlos collected three Champions League and four La Liga titles with Real Madrid during his career. Today, the mind may be willing but the body - well, that`s a different story for a player who first appeared in professional football in the early 1990s and officially retired seven years ago following a spell as player-coach of Delhi Dynamos in India. And after a short run-out in midfield in the opening half, Carlos left the action to go for a massage. He was not on the pitch as a couple of opportunities for one of his trademark free-kicks came and went.
Carlos eventually returned to the action when the penalty was awarded and did not waste his chance from the spot, although he relied on placement rather than power as he tucked it away low to the Harlescott goalkeeper`s left.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said: "Congratulations to Football Beyond Borders, it`s been an amazing campaign and I`m happy to be part of it. Football gives people the opportunity to have these kinds of experiences. I feel like a winner today."