Roberto Carlos made an appearance for an English amateur soccer team, Bull in the Barne United, named after a local pub, after winning a charity Dream Transfer raffle on eBay in January. The raffle ticket cost $6.61.
Team manager Ed Speller was ecstatic when he heard the news his team had won the raffle. “It’s amazing,” he says.
“When I found out that I won, I just started screaming: ‘No way!’ around the office. I just couldn’t believe it. I sent a message to the lads, and they went crazy. We need a left-back but I think he might be in center mid today. I guess he could play anywhere. I’m just looking forward to getting back to the pub with him later.”
Roberto Carlos, who had a minor knee injury, played 20 minutes in each half. He scored a penalty during the game and a free-kick in the warm up.
“I started playing on pitches like this in Brazil,” he says. “But I feel like I’ve learned a lot being here. It’s great to meet the boys as well. When I first started in Garça when I was 12, I played in a team with my dad and it was just like this. This is nothing new to me.”
Carlos impressed his new team-mates even more by then getting hold of Sergio Ramos on a video call after the game, with the current Paris Saint-Germain center-back taking time to speak to fans.
The match was organized by eBay to raise money for Football Beyond Borders, an education charity working with pupils from disadvantaged communities in the UK.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MCIVOR TIMES