New Delhi: Dead-ball specialist Roberto Carlos is alive and kicking at 42, and the Brazilian World Cup winner will be turning out for the Delhi Dynamos besides managing the franchise in the second season of Indian Super League football.
Roberto Carlos. Pic/AFP
"I would like to play," Carlos, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002 and a Real Madrid legend, said after being unveiled as the Dynamos' marquee manager-cum-player here today.
"I am delighted to be part of the Delhi Dynamos team and confident that we will be able to play aggressive, skillful and positive game. I am looking forward to this stint as an opportunity to impart new playing techniques to players, hone their skills and raise their fitness levels," he said.
The highlight of the event was the video messages from legends like David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, etc. congratulating Carlos for his new venture and offering their support to the club.
Renowned for his powerful and curling free-kicks, the 'Galactico' won the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Copa America, Cofederations Cup, Super Cup and was widely regarded as one of the greatest left-back to have played the game.
His watershed moment, though, was winning the FIFA World Cup for his national team at the Yokohama Stadium in Japan in 2002. He further added, "Indians have always been passionate about soccer and Brazil has always enjoyed tremendous support here, so I feel happy that I will make a meaningful contribution towards building a world class team in ISL.
On coming to India, Carlos said, "I am humbled by the immense support from Indian fans, which motivated me to come here and play for Delhi Dynamos."
Specifically, he said, "It's the revolution in Indian football that has made me come here, all things are positive, we have done great things for football in history and for the growth of football we will be there."
Carlos' managerial experience includes stints with Turkish sides Sivasspor and Akhisar Belediyespor. Coming back to his decision to play in ISL, Carlos said, "I am back to the past, I have prepared myself for a good season, I practice daily."
In August 2012, Carlos announced his retirement from competitive football at the age of 39. But he felt he is still game for some more on-field action. "I know I can play. I believe if I wasn't able to get ready physically, mentally and psychologically oi wouldn't have played.
"My last game (exhibition) was 20 days ago and I scored two goals. Physically, I feel good as a player and coach. I want to play, touch the ball and score goals. Football is my life," he said.
Asked about his coaching style, he said, "I am a very easy coach. The biggest coaches in the world work simple. It's understand for Indian players to understand the philosophy of Dynamos."
And when asked about the rumour around Florent Malouda's arrival in the team, Carlos praised the France international and said he is in their scheme of things.
Carlos' heroics saw him finish runners-up for the World Player of The Year Award in 1997. His other individual accolades include runner up in Ballon d'Or (2002), UEFA Defender of The Year (2002,2003).
Asked if this is his toughest assignment in his career, Carlos said, "Always the most difficult task is the most easiest. You have to be intelligent and know how to work. Speaking about the future who knows. I believe the Indian national team can be among the best in the times to come."
Speaking on the occasion Prashant Agarwal, President Delhi Dynamos, said: "It's a historic day not only for Delhi dynamos but also Indian Super League with the legendary Roberto Carlos joining us as Marquee Player-Manager. Carlos is an inspiration for thousands of budding football players across the globe and we are confident that his guidance and inputs will propel Delhi Dynamos to glory."
The franchise's new logo was also unveiled on the occasion.