Roberto Carlos reveals just how close he was to joining Chelsea in 2007

Roberto Carlos Fenerbache
(Image credit: PA)

Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos has told FourFourTwo that “everything was agreed” for a move to Chelsea in 2007 – only for a contract clause to scupper the switch.

Carlos had come to the end of an 11-year spell with Real Madrid when a transfer to Stamford Bridge became a possibility, after over 500 appearances for Los Blancos and seven major trophy wins.

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However, as the former left-back explains in the July 2020 issue of FourFourTwo – a Brazil special out in shops now and available to order online with free delivery – a contractual niggle meant he joined Fenerbahce instead and never played in the Premier League.

“Everything was agreed with Chelsea, but there was a contractual clause they really wanted and I didn’t,” he told FFT. “That’s the only reason I didn’t play in England. 

“I had to play a certain number of matches in a row to get my contract renewed later on – it was normally between 12 and 15 games, but as I wasn’t a boy any more, I was concerned about picking up injuries and not being able to reach that number. 

“I was proud of Chelsea’s interest, though. I had a meeting with Roman Abramovich, and we had a true and sincere conversation. Actually, I already knew Roman, because as a Real Madrid player you come across club presidents and owners all around the world. It would have been more or less what Cristiano Ronaldo did a couple of years ago, choosing a brand new experience after winning everything at Real.”

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Carlos would have been competing with a peak Ashley Cole in west London, but the Selecao icon says such a battle would not have fazed him.

“Cole was going through a wonderful period of his career, indeed – but I never thought that way, like I was competing with someone else for a place in the team,” he explained. 

“I did what I thought was best for the team and never aimed to be the main man. That’s not my style.” 

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Get the July 2020 issue of FourFourTwo now: a Brazil special featuring Rivelino, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Firmino’s rise, Robinho’s fall, Socrates at Garforth, Marta’s amazing story and more!

FourFourTwo July 2020

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FourFourTwo Staff

FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.