Roberto Carlos: “Brazil is a football country, it’s time to win the trophy”

Roberto Carlos, former left-back for Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team world champion in 2002, He predicted that Qatar 2022 will be an “incredible” World Cup.

“Soccer is the greatest, and soccer will bring happiness to all continents and in particular to Qatar. It will be very beautiful. I hope people enjoy this World Cup, because it will be incredible,” he said in an interview with FIFA in which he stressed that “soccer will continue uniting countries and showing the world that everyone can be happy, and soccer can give that emotion”, for which considered that it may be one of the “best” editions “in history” with “entertaining and stupendous matches”.

Roberto Carlos, questioned about his World Cup experience, acknowledged that the World Cup in France made him “grow a lot as a player in the Brazilian team” who lost the final against France because Zinedine Zidane “was very inspired that day.”

“And then, we were champions against Germany in 2002, which was the greatest experience of my sports career. In 2006, with a great team, we lost against France, but for a footballer there is nothing like the World Cup,” said the former winger, who He added: “What we did in 1998, we did in 2002 as well. The only difference was to lift the trophy in 2002, while in 1998 we only won the (runner-up) medals.”

“I think that in 1998, the day of the final, we were not there (mentally). We were worried about what had happened to Ronnie (Ronaldo Nazário de Lima) and since 2 in the afternoon we were not” in Paris, he said.

“But in 2002, we were in Yokohama because we took care of the team, we were better prepared. Many times, good things come from a defeat, and you win again; and we were lucky to be able to play every week -or every three days- to play and recover from a defeat, to try to win again”, he explained.

He did not want to compare Ronaldo with players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi: “Ronnie was the best in his time, and both Leo and Cristiano have also been the best in their time, they have been number one in the world. I don’t like to compare. It’s the same if we compare Zizou with (Diego) Maradona, or compare Roberto (Carlos) with Branco. There is no comparison. Each one has been great in its time.”

In his opinion, soccer in Brazil has changed since the 1998 or 2002 World Cups because it has “opted for a more physical dynamic, over technique.” “This is how we have lost. We have lost our essence: O jogo bonito. Before we used to attack as a team, but we defended much better (than now)”, he considered.

“We used to be confident in terms of our positioning. Today we worry about attacking. But what happens if we lose the ball? So each one of us knew exactly what he had to do.“, he assured.

Regarding the current ‘canarinha’, Roberto Carlos said that “they are a very good team”, but that there is a distance compared to that of his generation and he pointed out that he would like them to focus “on winning, on preparing for this World Cup in Qatar “.

“They should understand that it’s the only way to keep people happy, enjoying a great World Cup, having fun and bringing great joy to this country. Brazil, a soccer country. It’s been a long time since we won it, now it’s time to win the trophy. It is a very special moment for football“, he commented.

“I want this current team to be like us. We have at least 18 players who are considered among the best in the world. If Brazil wins this World Cup, they should have at least six or seven players considered among the best in the world. Today we only have Neymar , who is among the top five, we should have more players like Vinícius (Júnior), Rodrygo, (Éder) Militão, Marquinhos, Alisson… There should be more players so that we can also fight for individual prizes,” he said.

Roberto Carlos: “Brazil is a football country, it’s time to win the trophy”