Like arriving at the stark realisation that the middle-aged man doling out Kinder Eggs and cuddles in the back of his boarded up Transit van probably wasn’t the Easter Bunny after all, Roberto Carlos has delivered a thundering hammer blow to Pies’ already faltering grasp of all we assume to be true.
As you well know, the Brazilian full-back truly moved into the upper echelons with a single moment of inspiration in 1997, when he unleashed *that* curvaceous freekick against France in the inaugural game of Le Tournoi de France, a glorified World Cup warm-up.
Watch for the ballboy instinctively ducking despite being stationed some 10 yards wide of the goal…
Carlos’ audacious effort at the Stade de Gerland quickly became emblematic of his talents, with the tree-trunk-thighed defender repeatedly attempting to repeat the feat whenever Real Madrid managed to win a set-piece within the 30-40 yard range – smashing a high majority of them directly into the wall at shin-height.
Still, the Tournoi freekick stood alone as one of the finest examples of the ‘banana’ shot ever pulled off, with legitimate scientific studies even carried out into the bewildering physics involved (published by Dupeux, Le Goff, Quere and Clanet in the New Journal of Physics in 2010).
However, after keeping his counsel for two decades, Carlos has himself admitted that he didn’t act alone on that fateful afternoon in Lyon and that the shot wasn’t solely the product of his masterful swerve technique.
Indeed, it appears he had more than a little atmospheric assistance…
Big @lequipeEXPLORE piece on free-kick takers today in which Roberto Carlos – somewhat surprisingly – admits his 1997 goal against France was wind-assisted. “The ball was going completely wide but the wind brought it back to the goal. It was a miracle.”
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) November 28, 2017
Come on Roberto, old boy. At least try to preserve the magic… for our sake.