Sunday 06 November 2016, 17:55

Roberto Carlos: It’s so emotional to represent Brazil

Roberto Carlos has spoken about the significance of representing Brazil and hailed his successor Marcelo as the best left-back in the world. The dynamite-booted wingback made his international debut as a teenager in 1992, helped A Seleção finish as runners-up and winners at back-to-back FIFA World Cups™, and retired with 125 caps – a total bettered only by Cafu.

“People can’t imagine the joy we feel to put the yellow jersey on our body and represent our country,” Roberto Carlos told Esporte Espetacular. “You always carry a weight on your shoulders that makes you know you’re not alone. The people at home don’t know how emotional it is to represent 200 million people as a Brazilian. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Marcelo is closing in on the tenth anniversary of his move to Real Madrid, and is one of their four captains along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Pepe. The 28-year-old scored four goals in 44 Brazil appearances.

“The most important thing is the mind – the mind has to be strong,” said Roberto Carlos. “It’s not easy to handle the pressure of a season at Real Madrid with important games. Moreover, the leadership, to be a captain and to transit to the players the responsibility and obligation you have to win every game. the first to arrive and the last to leave, to represent the team. There’s such a lot, such a lot. Marcelo is the number one in the world.”

Like his idol, Marcelo has played for Brazil and Real Madrid and become renowned for his attacking qualities.

“I started to watch the Brazilian national team and he was the left-back,” said the charismatic Miami Heat fan. “I had it in my head: I want to be the same, I want to be the same. That way of striking the ball, I wanted to do it the same.”

Marcelo is in the Seleção squad that will host Argentina on Thursday and play in Peru five days later in Russia 2018 qualifying. Brazil lead the South American standings, one point above Uruguay and four clear of Ecuador and Colombia.