Roberto Carlos was part of a Brazilian team that was studded with superstars and talent. When the legendary left-back was around, Brazil was regarded as the best team in the world – even a short lean-patch would be wiped out by winning big tournaments. From the shot-stopper to midfield to attacking positions – Brazil had everything. But one star would remain the best among the best in that team and he was none other than Ronaldo Nazario de Lima aka O Fenomeno.


Recently, Roberto Carlos talked with the Heineken Legends Challenge about the greatest striker of all-time and his stint with the best club in the world Real Madrid.

Here are the excerpts:

Better than Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar

Ronaldo stood out in training. He was the best.

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There will never be another Ronaldo ‘Fenomeno’. Not Neymar, Cristiano, or Messi – Ronaldo is unique.

The memorable debut for Real Madrid

I knew how unbelievable he was when he arrived but a lot of people at Madrid didn’t. He surprised a lot of people.

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I remember 80,000 people were very happy and pleasantly surprised by him.

The Real Madrid of Galacticos

We had an amazing atmosphere inside the club. Even though there were huge players, it was just a group of great people working in the same environment. We were all great friends and still are.

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It was spectacular. Real Madrid is bigger than egos. The club is huge and the culture of the club was so big that we were able to sign huge players. It was then up to the players to adapt to the culture and not the other way around.

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Everyone had to speak Spanish in the dressing room. The only one who decided to speak more Portuguese than Spanish was [David] Beckham because he wouldn’t leave my house! He was close to Ronaldo and me, so his Portuguese got better than his Spanish.

On the great Zinedine Zidane

Zizou arrived as number one in the world. He is not one to speak a lot, so he let his football do the talking on the pitch. He was like an artist or a ballet dancer. He is one of the best of all time without a doubt. And also one of the best coaches in the world right now. He is great on the human side.

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He creates a good relationship with his players and he knows the mentality of Real Madrid. He made it simpler for players to work and he knows how they think.

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They are so happy with Zidane that they won three Champions League trophies in a row; that says a lot about him!

On Eden Hazard, Mbappe and Neymar


I still think they have another three years at the very top but Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, and Hazard will take over after Ronaldo and Messi. Indeed, Hazard, in a short time, will prove he is number one in the world.

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