Roberto Carlos - Real Madrid

In 1996 after a short stint at Inter Milan, young side Roberto Carlos disembarks in the Spanish capital to sign with Real Madrid. Along with him, Real hired Italian coach Fabio Capello, as well as European stars like Davor Suker and Seedorf. This 1996/1997 season was the first in 20 years that the Spanish club played only the domestic championships, as they did not qualify for the Champions League or UEFA Cup. With that, in the first year Real is Spanish champion, with Roberto Carlos playing as a starter despite being his debut year in one of the biggest clubs on the planet. In the following season, 1997/1998, coach Fabio Capello gave way to Jupp Heynckes and the team focused all their strength on the Champions League, since they had not won the competition since season 65/66. In the penultimate game of the group stage, Real Madrid thrashed Olympiacos 5-1 and it was in that match that Roberto Carlos scored his first goal in the competition. The second would come soon after in a rout over Porto by 4x0. At that time, the Champions League had only 6 groups, which ranked their leaders directly for the quarterfinals, in addition to the two best placed 2nd. The Spanish club passed Bayer Leverkusen in the quarterfinals and defending champion Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals. The final was played between Real Madrid and Juventus. Juventus had been runner-up last season and were stuck with the cry of champion. In the match the Italian team was superior but lost many chances, mainly with Inzaghi. Real Madrid, on the other hand, were efficient and with the goal of Mijatovic came out champion of the tournament after more than 30 years. After a season without titles in Europe, Real returns strongly to the Champions League with coach Vicente del Bosque taking over the team at the end of 1999. In the group stage Roberto Carlos scores in both games against Olympiacos and the club qualifies for the second group stage. The Spanish team falls in the group of Bayern Munich losing in and out and home, conceding 4 goals in each game. However, it is ranked second in the group. Highlight for Roberto Carlos scoring goals against Rosenborg and Dynamo of Kyiv, adding 4 goals in that edition. In the quarterfinals, Real Madrid will soon take on the current champion of the competition, Manchester United of Giggs, Beckham and Fergusson who had won the triple crown last season. The Spanish club drew 0-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu and won 3-2 at Old Trafford. In the semifinal, the motivated Real gave back at Bayern Munich and defeated Valencia in the first Spanish final of the Champions (of many to come). With two Champions League achievements in four years, Roberto Carlos would have been very marked in the history of the Madrid club if he had followed another path, but decided to stay in the club until they wanted him there. In the third league won, Roberto Carlos participates in the fundamentals. The final was against Bayer Leverkusen and after 8 minutes, the Brazilian full-back realizes the inattention of the German defense and charges a midfielder by launching Raúl who only anchors to the back of the net. The German team tied 5 minutes later with defender Lúcio and the match is taking on dramatic contours. In a ball stretched to the Brazilian side on the end line, he lifts it into the area. There was Zidane who sends a first-rate bomb, without dropping the ball, scoring one of the two biggest goals in the competition's history. Roberto Carlos leaves Real Madrid in 2007 being the non-Spanish player who most played for the team, with 527 games. In addition to 68 goals, three Champions League, 4 La Liga, 3 Super Cups and being considered the best left back in club history

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