It would take quite some time to find a football fan who didn’t enjoy watching Roberto Carlos. Originally a forward, Carlos became a marauding left-back, collecting trophies with Brazil and Real Madrid.

The role of the full-back has evolved through the history the game, with tactical changes altering the demands at the position, but Carlos still stands out for his attack-first mentality. 

Stocky, explosively quick and with immense technical ability, Carlos challenged opponents with skill, pace and power.

He was a unique opponent for those featuring in La Liga odds, and was one half of the best full-back pairing of all-time at international level with Cafu.

Not many defenders have impacted the attacking third quite like Carlos. His presence helped Real to titles both domestic and continental, and Brazil would not have been such a betting force in the late 1990s and early 2000s without him. 

Net Worth

Estimates of Roberto Carlos net worth can be found on various different platforms. Figures start in the tens of millions and some go up towards £120 million. 

Carlos played in a different era when wages were a long way south of what they are in the 2020s.

Still, spending over a decade with Real Madrid is a good way to bolster the coffers, and it’s no secret that he earned an historically large sum at Anzhi Makhachkala when playing alongside Samuel Eto’o.

Unlike Eto’o, Carlos never featured in Premier League predictions, but who can blame him with the money on offer elsewhere and all he achieved at the Bernabeu. 

He has a remarkable collection of cars, including multiple Ferraris, Mercedes and even a Bugatti Veyron.

Alongside considerable on-pitch earnings throughout his playing days, Carlos was (and remains) very marketable for a nominally defensive player. He currently has endorsement deals with AirAsia, Entourage Global and EA Sports. 

Sunday League

Bull in the Barne United, a team named after a pub in Shrewsbury, won the chance to have Roberto Carlos appear for them in March 2022.

It was an unlikely comeback for the former World Cup winner, who featured in the first half and returned in the second period to score a penalty

Unfortunately for Bull in the Barne United, the presence of a multi-time Champions League winner wasn’t enough to secure victory, as they fell to 4-3 to Harlescott Rangers. 

The team had won the chance to play alongside Carlos as part of a raffle to raise money for Football Beyond Borders, a cause the Brazilian spoke about after the match.

He said, "It's a fantastic initiative. Any time there is a charity element involved in a project it's very important for me, and what FBB do is fantastic."

It was a unique experience for Carlos, who explored some of the local area before the match. 

"Football is amazing and even though I've had the opportunity to play with the biggest names in world football, playing here is very enjoyable. Always good to score a goal!

"A lot of people don't realise that even though I played with some of the biggest clubs and best players in the world I started 'here' in Brazil, at 13, 14 years old. It brings back great memories for me playing on pitches like this.

"I really enjoyed it - I also come from a small-town background, so I like the vibe in the area. I had a nice day here yesterday in the area, so I've had time to get to know it.

"It's just amazing that football gives you these opportunities to be able to meet new people, new cultures, different places. I certainly haven't been somewhere like this before."

Liam Turrall, a defender for Bull in the Barne United, described the occasion as ‘surreal’, referring to Carlos as a ‘mythical creature almost’. 

Goalkeeper and manager Ed Speller was behind the club’s entry into the raffle, creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone involved.

Speller said, "We can safely say it's the best moment of our footballing careers and it's been one of the best days of our lives probably.

"It's been amazing, the whole experience from start to finish. You have to be realistic and say he won't be able to banana free-kick from 35 yards out maybe any more, but the penalty… that was top-quality, bottom-corner.”

That Free Kick

Back in 1997, with Brazil facing France, Roberto Carlos scored the most jaw-dropping free-kick in football history.

Lining up an effort from around 40 yards out, Carlos unleashed a physics-bending left-footed strike at over 84 miles per hour, leaving Fabien Barthez dumbfounded and rooted to the spot.

Carlos had built expectations with a lengthy run-up from the centre circle. His left boot struck across the ball, imparting immense side spin to cause a swerving shot which went round the wall and past Barthez.

French physicists had difficulty explaining exactly how Carlos had pulled off such a unique goal, and Professor Luis Fernando Fontanari from the University of Sao Paulo called the strike a ‘miracle’. 

Speaking to FourFourTwo in 2015, the Brazilian shed further light on his free-kick technique.

"I always struck set pieces on the valve because that's the hardest part of the ball and you get more power.

"I always kicked the ball from its bottom-left to the top-right, which helped it swerve.

"I'll always remember the advertising behind the goal. I was aiming for the 'A' in La Poste, but when I hit the shot it was miles away from that - going towards a different advert!

"The ball boy was diving out of the way of the shot, too. He should have had more confidence in me!"


  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A – 1993, 1994

  • Campeonato Paulista – 1993, 1994

  • La Liga – 1996-97, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07

  • Champions League – 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02

  • Turkish Super Cup – 2007, 2009

  • World Cup – 2002

  • Copa America – 1997, 1999

  • Confederations Cup – 1999

  • Bola de Prata – 1993, 1994, 2010 

  • ESM Team of the Year – 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04

  • ESPN World Team of the Decade – 2009

  • FIFA 100


Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.