It was not long ago that Roberto Carlos was starring for Brazil at FIFA World Cups and dazzling with his speed and vicious shot for Real Madrid CF alongside the likes of Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo, David Beckham and Luís Figo. Now, he is starting life with FC Anzhi Makhachkala of the Russian Premier-Liga. UEFA.com sat down with the 37-year-old to discuss his latest – surely final – career move.
UEFA.com: How did you learn about Anzhi's interest?
Roberto Carlos: From my agents. I had offers from many clubs throughout the world, but the offer from Anzhi was the most appealing. The conversation with the club's president also convinced me and I made the decision very quickly. I would like to thank Anzhi for their interest.
UEFA.com: What made Anzhi's offer so appealing?
Roberto Carlos: I could tell immediately that I was dealing with serious people. I liked their project. I am going to a strong league which is similar to the Brazilian one. There are many interesting teams in Russia and the competition is very strong. It is a new challenge and a new experience for me. Hopefully I can do my best and win trophies with my new club.
UEFA.com: Had you heard about Anzhi before?
Roberto Carlos: I don't think I'll surprise you if I say I knew nothing about them. People in Brazil talk about big European teams and their performances at home and in Europe. We get some news from Russia, mostly about Brazilians playing there, but that does not mean I know anything about Anzhi. During the negotiations I found some information about the team on the internet. I am looking forward to getting acquainted with my new team-mates and coaches.
UEFA.com: Have you spoken with Anzhi head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev?
Roberto Carlos: No. I will go to Turkey at the end of next week to meet my new team and the coach. I would like to know as much as I can about them all.
UEFA.com: You have been to Russia before, haven't you?
Roberto Carlos: Yes, I visited Russia with Madrid and Brazil. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to explore Russia properly. It seems to be a country with a unique culture and history. I will find out more in the near future.
UEFA.com: Do you know any Russian?
Roberto Carlos: Sadly not. Can you teach me? I speak four languages – Portuguese, Spanish, English and Italian. I am going to start learning Russian in Makhachkala. I know it's a very complicated language – the letters look funny. It will be interesting.
UEFA.com: What about the climate? It is -20C now in Moscow, for example.
Roberto Carlos: It was just a little warmer during my last visit to Moscow. Even in Turkey, where I played for Fenerbahçe SK, it was freezing sometimes. It's not a disaster for me. I'm not someone who complains about the weather.
UEFA.com: Before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, you wanted to return to the Brazil team.
Roberto Carlos: I'm not thinking about the national team any more. I think rationally. There is a new generation in the Brazil team and I wish them luck.
UEFA.com: You have a two-and-a-half-year contract at Anzhi. Are you sure you have the strength for it?
Roberto Carlos: Why not? In two months I will be 38, but I still feel strong enough to set new targets. I want to play more. I am still able to manage training and a 90-minute game.
UEFA.com: What next, Roberto?
Roberto Carlos: I will hang up my boots probably. I plan to become a coach or manager. In Russia? Why not?
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