Fenerbahçe SK veteran Roberto Carlos has stated that David Beckham is the best free-kick taker he has ever seen, as the England international prepares to begin his loan spell at AC Milan with a Serie A game against AS Roma this weekend.
In an exclusive interview for the UEFA Training Ground the Brazilian, who played alongside 33-year-old Beckham at Real Madrid CF for four years from 2003 to 2007, spoke about the dilemma the team faced when they won a set-piece on the edge of the penalty area with two of the premier exponents of their generation on hand.
"It depended on the position of the ball and the distance," he said. "I would shoot it along the short side of the wall or over it and he would shoot wide of the wall or over it. I would stand on one side and Beckham on the other but I wanted to see Beckham take the free-kick because it's beautiful how he hits the ball."
The 35-year-old, who gives his own guide to free-kicks on the Training Ground, is one of a select band of eleven players to have made a century of appearances in the UEFA Champions League – his 120 outings only surpassed by Madrid striker Raúl González. An ever-present in Fenerbahçe's campaign this season, he won Europe's premier club competition three times during an eleven-year spell in the Spanish capital.
Currently in his second season with Fenerbahçe, he was part of the famous Madrid Galáctico side that included Beckham, Ronaldo, Zinédene Zidane, and Luís Figo but it is one of that quartet who stood apart. "Beckham was for me an enormous example as a person and a footballer. But truly the player that most impressed me for his quality, his calmness, his ability and his intelligence, it can only be Zidane."
You can see more of Roberto Carlos' interview, as he discusses the influence of his family in his career and how important his time in Italy with FC Internazionale Milano was to his game, on the Training Ground by clicking here.
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