Roberto Carlos scored perhaps the most famous goal of his career – against France in a friendly thanks to the wind.
Also known as the ‘banana kick’, the former Brazilian left-back struck it in a 1-1 tie against Les Blues in 1997 in the first game of the Tournoi de France, a friendly international tournament preluding the ‘98 World Cup.
The French defenders fouled, trying to stop Ronaldo from advancing into their penalty area. The referee awarded a free kick to Brazil. Then, seconds later, Carlos did the unimaginable from 35 yards out.
Talking about the goal to the French daily L’Equipe, the former Real Madrid star later said: “The ball was going completely wide but the wind brought it back to the goal. It was a miracle.”
And a miracle it was. To this day, the puzzled look on France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez’s face as he watched the ball curl back is all one needs to understand how impossible it must have seemed to all those of the field.
“To be honest, until this day I don’t know how I did that,” Carlos told ESPN Brasil in 2017. “It was a beautiful goal. It required a lot of training and hard work throughout my career. But that hard work paid off, as I was able to score such a wonderful goal, which was a special moment for me.”
“I never tried to kick like that again, because I know I would never have scored,” he said with a laugh. “There are lots of good kickers nowadays. It might take some time, but someday someone will score a similar goal. But I was the first.”
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