Roberto Carlos' memories of Zidane's 2002 final volley

It is 18 years to the day since THAT Zidane volley – Roberto Carlos had the best view in the house.

Roberto Carlos provided the cross for Zidane's sensational volley for Madrid in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final
Roberto Carlos provided the cross for Zidane's sensational volley for Madrid in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final Icon Sport via Getty Images

Roberto Carlos can always lay claim to providing the assist for what is widely considered to be one of the finest goals in history.

Here he talks us through his memories of 15 May 2002 and his role in Zinédine Zidane's stunning volley for Real Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League final.

"I’m not talking about the goal, I can talk about [my] pass … People say ‘That was a terrible pass’ and I say ‘Terrible?’ It was perfect, on the spot, just high enough and it landed on Zizou’s left foot because he wouldn’t be able to strike it with his right foot.

Watch Zidane's volley from every angle
Watch Zidane's volley from every angle

"He scored a beautiful goal but if it wasn’t for that pass, if the pass hadn’t been so perfect … That pass was terrible!

"[Santiago] Solari’s pass [to me] was like he was aiming for something outside of the stadium, you know? It was awful. It came from above, the guy near me was two metres tall, the ball went by and I was running faster than him. If he’d stretched his foot I’d have got injured, but I was moving fast.

"It was my only chance because there was a Leverkusen player following me, so if I’d controlled the ball, he’d have nicked it off me. The ball came bouncing and I crossed the ball. I didn’t even know Zizou was there, the only thing I did was look to the right side and I saw someone in white was coming.

Watch full highlights of the 2002 Champions League final
Watch full highlights of the 2002 Champions League final

"There is no other way. You are looking at the ball so you can’t see well because if you turn, the opponent takes the ball. So I ran, I saw someone was coming, so I made the pass right to the middle of the goal area and one of the best players in the world was right there.

"It was an interesting goal because the pass was bad, the cross was more or less bad and yet Zizou’s goal was recently chosen by France Football as the most beautiful goal in a Champions League final."

You can watch Roberto Carlos and Steve McManaman look back on the final in more depth on UEFA.tv.