Roberto Carlos: Real Madrid and Brazil icon's impossible goal v Tenerife

Roberto Carlos' left foot was legendary.

The Brazilian is one of the greatest free-kick takers of all time and as a result, he's also one of the highest-scoring defenders ever. 

Carlos scored 113 goals throughout his career, the peak of which came at Real Madrid between 1996–2007. 

In that period, he was also part of the iconic Selecao side who won the 2002 World Cup, the left-back lining up alongside the likes of Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Nazario.

It seems only yesterday that the Selecao legend was dominating on the world stage and defying physics with his set pieces on the regular. 

But as of today, Carlos is now 48-years-old and as it's his birthday, we thought we'd take the opportunity to reflect on one of his most extraordinary goals. 

*That* free-kick has been seen enough, so allow us instead to trawl the record books and revisit one of his strikes from February 1998. 

It came against Tenerife in a game Real Madrid actually lost 4-3. Los Blancos had fallen behind when, in the 46th minute, their full-back raced down the wing and did the inexplicable. 

Now first off, Carlos was running at full speed and the ball was mid-bounce - so he deserved credit for keeping it in play at all. 

What happened next appeared to stun even the man himself and an American TV channel had to forensically analyse the angles to try and explain what had happened. 

His reaction was priceless. How is it possible to score from that angle? 

"As well as being one of the best free-kick takers ever, he is also one of the finest left backs ever," Ronaldinho famously said of him. 

Jaap Stam added that his left leg seemed to be "made of iron" when he struck his free-kicks. 

Kat Lucas

Interested in: Tottenham Hotspur, Cricket, Football

Journalist covering football, cricket and boxing. Always Tottenham Hotspur, invariably disappointed.