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The one goal that Roberto Carlos rates as even better than his iconic free kick v France

Roberto Carlos free kick

Roberto Carlos on the goal that was better than his famous free kick.

Roberto Carlos enjoyed a trophy-laden career but for football fans, he is mostly remembered for that free kick goal he scored against France in 1997.

The strike at Le Tournoi, a preparatory tournament for the following year’s World Cup in France, is seen as a seminal moment in 1990s football and one which catapulted the left-back to global fame.

Roberto Carlos: “I really like the goal against Tenerife.”

The free kick showcased a technique that bent minds as much as it did the ball but it might surprise people to learn that Carlos doesn’t even consider it as his best goal.

In an interview with GQ that was published earlier this week, the Brazilian World Cup winner is asked whether he ever scored a better goal, to which he replied: “I really like the goal that I scored against Tenerife – that was a more difficult goal. I pretty much scored the goal from the byline, close to the corner flag.”

The goal he refers to was one that was scored while he was playing for Real Madrid in February 1998, just eight months after his wonderstrike against France.

Latching on to a bouncing ball on the left, Carlos hits a volley into the net from the tightest of angles and, well why not judge for yourself whether it’s superior to the strike at Le Tournoi…

“I never get tired of it.”

A brilliant goal without doubt but if we’re honest, the free kick still pips it, even if only for its iconic status.

In the same interview, Carlos is asked if he ever gets tired of being asked about that goal against France.

“I never get tired of it,” he says. “It’s actually quite fun because, even now, it’s a goal that no one understands. I don’t understand it myself, so how is anyone else going to understand it?”

Quite. The name of Roberto Carlos has come up quite a bit this summer due to the Euro 2020 performances of Luke Shaw.

Shaw has been light-heartedly compared to the three-time Champions League winner, even earning the nickname “Shawberto Carlos” throughout England’s run to the final.

While Shaw scored the opening goal in that defeat against Italy, we’re yet to see him manage something as incredulous as either of the strikes mentioned above. At 26 though, he does have plenty of time on his side.

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