LEGENDARY full-back Roberto Carlos has revealed that he came “very close” to joining Chelsea in 2007.
The Brazilian icon’s glittering Real Madrid career was coming to an end after 527 appearances and 13 trophies – but at 34 many people still thought he had something to offer.
Roberto Carlos was one of the world’s leading left-backs when he departed Real Madrid in 2007
And it turns out that Jose Mourinho, then in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, was one of them.
The Portuguese already had Ashley Cole, who had arguably succeeded Carlos as the world’s finest left-back, at his disposal – but could have upgraded on deputy Wayne Bridge.
Carlos himself, now 49, has lifted the lid on just how close he came to joining the Blues.
Speaking to Goal in 2020, he said: “I had two proposals, Fenerbahce and Chelsea. Chelsea didn’t work out so I signed for Fenerbahce.
“But, with Chelsea, it got very close. It was literally agreed and I just had to go there and sign the contract.
“It was just a week before I signed for Fenerbahce and I had been to Paris to meet both Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon.
“Unfortunately, in the final moments something didn’t work out just before finalising, which happens a lot in football. There was an issue with the lawyer.
“It was all agreed, though, and I am 100 per cent sure I would have done well in the Premier League and it would have suited my characteristics.”
As it happened, Mourinho was sacked less than three months later – while Carlos spent two years in Istanbul before returning to Brazil with Corinthians.
While he may have been in the twilight of his career when approached by the Blues, it turns out that they weren’t the first English side to try and bring him to these shores.
He continued: “I was still playing in Brazil with Palmeiras when Aston Villa came in for me in 1995.
“But they couldn’t afford the deal, after that I went to Inter.”
The iconic Brazilian was a key part of the ‘Galacticos’ era alongside David Beckham in Madrid