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Bernabeu Bites: Roberto Carlos, Harry Redknapp & A Japanese Sensation

Madrid sign a possible future great as Roberto Carlos chats with As.

Always in a joyful humour
Always in a joyful humour

Roberto Carlos And His Greatest Of Goals in Marca And As

With his Banana Free Kick winning a survey of discerning Marca readers who consider it the greatest goal of all time, Roberto Carlos has also spoken to As.

Puzzlingly, he would start Casillas in the league and Diego Lopez in the Champions League, remembers Vincente del Bosque as a second father, loves Marcelo's exuberance, defends current press-scapegoat Karim Benzema from the interviewer's somewhat pointed derision, lauds Cristiano Ronaldo as a leader, counsels patience for Carlo Ancelotti and cheerfully reflects that it was in years where things haven't gone smoothly in the league that Madrid tended to win the Champions League.

Well then.

English translations and rewrites of As are being written up as "Roberto Carlos says Bale worth the money." But for their part, As seemed to feel it necessary to note (perhaps mischievously) that he laughed as he said it, make of that what you will; though the player always laughed easily. He also helpfully tamped down expectation by comparing this fee to those paid in the past for some fairly marginal players no one has ever heard of. In Spanish: Se pagó también mucho por Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, Cristiano...

It is, at any rate, always fascinating to hear what a legend has to say.

And if you haven't time to read the interview, at least check out the footage of the goal, which, hit with the outside of Roberto Carlos's left-foot, shot past the right side of the French defensive wall (kindly note the presence of future Real Madrid teammate Zidane vainly attempting to prevent this greatest of left-backs from scoring the greatest goal of all time) before the ball curled in the other direction. Note in particular the ball-boy about 15 feet next to the goal behind the advertising boards who ducks in horror thinking the ball (flying at incredible speeds) is coming for him rather than the goal-mouth so far away. Marvel at Fabian Barthez - vainly attempting to keep it out - and envy him too. He had such a wonderful view.

Harry Redknapp, Marina Hyde, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale

On the subject of Bale, the football watching public has been reading through serialized excerpts from the memoirs of good old Harry Redknapp while waiting for the other shoe to drop later this month in the form of Alex Ferguson's highly anticipated (by all except past and current players and the present coaching staff of Manchester United) tell-all (one hopes, anyway) memoirs.

Redknapp has helpfully taken credit for earning Tottenham their amazing sum for Gareth Bale which he has termed "crazy." 'Arry, of course, never dealt in crazy money, just ask Portsmouth fans. Presumably, he also fails to remember wanting to sell him for 3 million after, in one of life's amazing coincidences, Tottenham played Bale 24 times without managing a win after his arrival from Southampton. For English National Team fans, Marina Hyde's derisive write-up on the greatest coach they never had will be particularly amusing.

From Marca we learn that old 'Arry thinks that unless Gareth Bale can get along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid will be "a cold place for him." Of course, as we all know, Cristiano Ronaldo gets along with none of his teammates, all of whom visibly fear him.

On that note, Marca's daily fluff piece informs us that Madrid have never lost when Ronaldo has found the back of the net. Yet another amazing statistic.

A Japanese Super-Star?

Takuhiro Nakai is the name of Real Madrid's 9 year-old wonder-signing. Mark it down in your diaries as he's being tipped for greatness.

He's comes to us from Shiga Prefecture and is a television sensation in Japan thanks to his incredible tricks with the ball. 'Pipi' will, if all goes according to plan, be lining up in El Clasico for Madrid in around 2024, give or take.

The link above is to an ESPN write-up in English. This one will take you to As for a look at his amazing skills with the ball.

Good luck at Madrid, kid.

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