Former Brazil star Roberto Carlos says England should be proud of their exploits at Euro 2020 and has used his own experience of winning the World Cup four years after final heartbreak as an example of how teams can turn agony into ecstasy.
England reached their first major tournament final in 55 years this summer only to suffer bitter disappointment as Italy emerged victorious after a penalty shoot-out at Wembley.
Carlos knows how painful that loss will be to England, having also tasted defeat in the final of a major international tournament as Brazil, the defending champions, were beaten 3-0 by France in the 1998 World Cup showpiece.
However, the Selecao bounced back from that by claiming the nation’s fifth – and most recent – World Cup crown at the next edition in Japan and Korea in 2002, and Carlos believes Gareth Southgate’s men should look ahead with optimism.
He told the PA news agency: “The England players should feel proud of themselves, they did really well to get to the final, they lost the game but that doesn’t mean they can’t get to finals in the future and win.
“It’s like for myself, in 1998 we lost the final and won the next World Cup in 2002, that’s modern football.”
Carlos, who won 125 caps for his country, kept a close eye on England this summer as he spoke highly of Luke Shaw after Three Lions team-mates nicknamed him ‘Shawberto Carlos’ thanks to some impressive performances as an attacking left-back.
The former Real Madrid defender added: “Brazil always have to win, when they lose it is like the world has ended. In South America we’re used to winning everything but it’s a similar situation to England, we lost the final but we won another final.”
The 48-year-old played over 500 times for Real in a trophy-laden career which saw him win three Champions League titles and four LaLiga crowns as well as score some spectacular goals, including his famous free-kick for Brazil in the 1997 Tournoi De France.
Aside from Real, the flying full-back also represented the likes of Inter Milan, Palmeiras, Fenerbahce and Anzhi Makhachkala during his playing days.
However, it is widely known that despite having had offers to move to England at different stages of his career, he never graced the Premier League – something the Brazilian admits he would like to have done.
“There was an offer from Aston Villa in 1996 and another offer from Chelsea in 2007,” said the former defender, who was back in Real Madrid colours last week as he captained the Spanish giants to a 3-2 win over arch rivals Barcelona in a legends game in Israel.
“It was a pity because I would always liked to have played English football. Now it’s only as a sporting director or manager, there’s no more chance to play. ”
Carlos is currently an ambassador for Real Madrid in Asia and Oceania whilst being the club’s director of institutional relations.
Asked if he one day sees himself in a coaching role or possibly managing in England, he did not dismiss the possibility.
He said: “I’m getting my coaching badges and licences so once I get them who knows.
“I’m studying for that (coaching licence) at the moment, but I am very happy here at Real Madrid, I am really happy working at the club where I came through.”
:: Football legend Roberto Carlos took part in #TheToughestTest to celebrate the launch of the brand-new life-proof Nokia XR20 5G smartphone, available to purchase now. To find out more, please visit: https://www.nokia.com/phones/en_gb/kick-it ::