Ricardo Carvalho developed into one of the best central defenders in the world at Chelsea.
The Portuguese defender was integral as a young Jose Mourinho took the Premier League by storm in 2004, arriving from Porto and leading the Blues to back-to-back league titles.
Forging an incredible partnership with John Terry and sweeping up in front of Petr Cech, Chelsea dominated the league in unconventional fashion, shutting teams out with their water-tight defence.
It was in Mourinho’s debut season that they conceded just 15 goals all season long and won the league title with a then-record 95 points, finishing 12 points clear of runners up Arsenal.
Mourinho, his newfound tactical prowess and his unshakeable confidence completely tipped the English top flight on its head.
After such a period of dominance from Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, Mourinho had arrived and bulldozed the pair of them in a way no English fans had seen before.
Carvalho was absolutely key to that. He signed for the club in 2004 from Porto, following Mourinho to Stamford Bridge after their success in Portugal, and proved an instant hit during his mammoth six-year stay.
Fofana £80m bid! (Football Terrace)
An ever reliable defender and incredible reader of the game, he forged a brilliant partnership with Terry, whose more physical attributes complimented Carvalho’s more reserved style perfectly.
But he was also more than capable of letting forwards know he was there himself, and absolutely loved a big, heavy challenge when the opportunity presented itself.
Many remember Carvalho as an aerially dominant yet tactically astute defender, but a video has surfaced on YouTube which shows he had a wild edge to his game that defenders today simply wouldn’t get away with.
Uploaded by ‘Vintage Footy‘, footage shows Carvalho strutting his stuff as Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners at home to Newcastle in 2004/05, Carvalho was booked early on in the contest, but didn’t let the yellow card influence his decision making whatsoever.
It makes for a quite sensational set of highlights to watch, as he flies into challenges from anywhere and everywhere, seemingly without any care for the fact that he could receive a second yellow card and subsequently be dismissed at any point.
Be sure to check out the highlights below, as you’ll not only be amazed at his monstrous performance, but also how he flew into tackles despite being on a booking.
WATCH: Carvalho doesn’t care that he’s on a yellow vs Newcastle
Absolutely no chance could players be flying in like Carvalho was there if they were on a booking today, without receiving their marching orders. It simply wouldn’t happen.
It just goes to show how much football has changed in a relatively short space of time, with referees not batting an eyelid to such physical battles back in the day, even if they seemed quite reckless.
Let’s take a look at what viewers had to say in response, because while Carvalho’s performance was certainly an edgy one, it was equally as sublime to watch back.
Carvalho absolutely was a master of the ‘dark arts’, although it’s fair to say that he’d have been dismissed rather quickly for that tackle from behind if he tried that today. Good luck getting some of those crunching challenges past the VAR check.
He left Chelsea for Real Madrid in 2010 having won three Premier Leagues, two League Cups and a Community Shield during his time as a Blue, while also being voted the Players’ Player of the Year in 2008.
The Premier League has hosted some of the game’s greatest ever defenders from Carvalho and Terry, to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and even Vincent Kompany and Virgil van Dijk in more recent times.
Ultimately, fan bias will always prevail with regards to who is actually the best, but Carvalho continually flies under the radar and is absolutely a contender to be considered the league’s greatest.