Roberto Carlos to join Fenerbahçe

Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos has confirmed that he will join Turkish champions Fenerbahçe SK next season after an eleven-year spell at Real Madrid CF.

Roberto Carlos has confirmed he will join Turkish champions Fenerbahçe SK next season after eleven years at Real Madrid CF.

Fellow countryman
The 34-year-old left-back signed an agreement via his agent on Tuesday night and confirmed his decision, saying: "I will be playing in Turkey at Fenerbahçe. They are the club that have shown the most interest in signing me and they convinced me with their plans. They have spoken to me lots of times and a very important element in helping me make my decision was that [former Brazilian international] Zico is their coach.

'Right time'
"I had a lot of offers from Italy, England and other countries but Fenerbahçe want to grow as a club and I was keen to help them," added Roberto Carlos who won 125 caps for Brazil in a career that has seen him win the 2002 FIFA World Cup, three Spanish titles and three UEFA Champions League crowns among other honours. "I think that it is the right time and as I said I want to leave the way open at Real Madrid so that they can begin a new cycle and bring in some new players."

Long-term interest
Fenerbahçe have had a long-term interest in signing Roberto Carlos, who joined Madrid from FC Internazionale Milano in 1996. Club official Murat Özaydinli said: "We wanted to add Roberto Carlos to our squad last year but we have made that transfer now. Everbody knows that he is a legendary player." The player's agent Dino Pasalić added: "He promised to join Fenerbahçe last year. He almost came to Fenerbahçe then but his contract was still valid at Real Madrid."

European prospects
Roberto Carlos could yet come up against Madrid in next season's UEFA Champions League. As Turkish champions, Fenerbahçe will start the competition in the third qualifying round, while Madrid are expected to book a place in the group stage as one of the top two sides in Spain.