On the eve of the Madrid Derby Champions League final in Milan, the retired, legendary left-back looks ahead to that match, reflects on his time as a Galactico and talks goals, free-kicks and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Q: After managerial spells at Anzhi Makhachkala, Sivasspor, Akhisar Belediyespor and more recently the Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League, how does it feel to be back working at Real Madrid as Director of Institutional Relations and a club ambassador?
Roberto Carlos: I’m very happy that president Florentino Perez gave me the chance to come back to the club. I’m very thankful for this, to give back to the club but I still have to learn and study a lot to improve as a coach. I will speak to Florentino about my progress and future.
What is it like working with your great friend and former team-mate, Zinedine Zidane?
I’m following Zinedine very closely and we have a lot of history at the club together. We hope to create more history. Usually the problem is great players haven’t had a lot of luck when they turn into coaches but Zinedine is doing a great job and he is very happy about the performance of his team.
You spent 11 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, playing 584 matches in all competitions and scoring 71 goals as well as winning four La Liga crowns and three UEFA Champions League titles, can you sum up what the club means to you?
Real Madrid is my life, every moment and trophy has been special for me.
What are you expecting from the all-Madrid Derby Champions League Final?
Atletico have a great squad and they had a great season but Real have more experienced players for the final and I’m hopeful we will win our 11th European Cup.
On Cristiano Ronaldo…
Cristiano is the number one player in the world and he’s performing very well in so many aspects. Real Madrid are very lucky to have him and hopefully he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu for many more years to come.
You’ve scored plenty of spectacular goals in your career but which one is your favourite?
My favourite goal is the one against Tenerife.
Did you have any secrets to taking free-kicks?
There’s no secret about my free-kicks, it was just training every day and practicing kicking the ball in the way I did with the outside of my foot, generating top spin on the ball.
When you were a player with the Whites, who was your best friend in the team?
All of the players I played with are good friends of mine but of course I have the best relationship with Ronaldo because of the Brazilian connection.
And finally, you’ve visited the Real Madrid Cafe at The Beach on JBR in Dubai, could you see yourself working in football in the UAE one day?
At the moment I have a contract with Real Madrid and I’m very happy there. But I’m very happy learning more about the culture in the UAE and it’s possible in the future I will train here.