Roberto Carlos: "I’ve slept more times with Ronaldo than my wife"
The former Real Madrid full back gave a revealing interview in which he detailed how player power had brought down more than one coach at the Bernabéu.
Former Real Madrid left back Roberto Carlos has revealed he was named after the Brazilian crooner of the same name – “my dad was a fan” - and laid out some anecdotes from his decade-long career at the Bernabéu in an interview with former Barcelona keeper Vitor Baia for Portuguese television.
Speaking about his experience with Vicente del Bosque, who was ushered out of the door in 2003 shortly after landing the Liga title, Carlos said: “He was more like a friend. You didn’t need rules. We knew perfectly well what he wanted. Training on Monday was at five in the afternoon. Sometimes on Tuesday as well. He didn’t ask us to come in at 11:00 because practically nobody showed up.”
However, the Brazilian great has less fond memories of some of his other coaches at the club, including the famously combustible José Antonio Camacho, who lasted just 22 days during his first stint in 1998 and not much longer when he returned in 2004.
“During the Galácticos era there were seven of us… it created a dangerous situation in the dressing room. We always managed the situation well, we got along well, but Camacho didn’t and he only lasted 10 days. He came into the dressing room, said hello to everybody and was very serious, a man with a lot of history at Real Madrid. Then he said: ‘I want everybody here tomorrow morning at 7am.’ We normally trained at 10:30. We talked to him to try and get him to change the time; we had our habits.”
Roberto Carlos: "Luxemburgo took away the wine... Adios"
On Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was another Florentino Pérez appointment that didn’t work out very well, Carlos recalls: “The same thing happened to him. In the second game of the league season we had the custom of leaving our bags in the hotel and going for a beer or a wine before dinner. There were always two bottles of wine on the table. Ronaldo and me told him: ‘Professor, people here have their habits, you’ll see what they are, but don’t try to change them. Don’t take the wine off the table or stop the beers before dinner or you’ll find yourself with a problem.’ What did he do? First he took away the wine, then he banned the beers. He lasted three months. Football is a small world, the directors heard about it and it was “adios.””
Asked if player power was a problem during the Galáctico era, Carlos concurred: “Today when I’m looking back I think; how is it possible that we got away with so much craziness? After every game it was private jets left, right and centre. We’d meet up at the private terminal at Barajas and Beckham would be off god knows where, Figo and Zidane would be off somewhere or other, Ronaldo and me… and we always had to train the day after tomorrow. I used to pray for Saturday fixtures so I could go to the Formula 1 on Sunday. It was private jets all over the place. It was crazy.”
Speaking about his former teammate and friend, with whom he lifted the World Cup in 2002, Carlos has nothing but fond memories. “I met Ronaldo in 1993 and from that moment we always shared the room. I’ve slept more times with Ronaldo than my wife.”