This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.
When you think about the best full-backs that have played football in recent times, it’d be hard to not to think about a certain Roberto Carlos.
The Brazilian is often lauded as one of the top left-backs of his generation. He played for two of the biggest clubs in the world in Inter Milan and Real Madrid, whilst also turning out for Fenerbahce, Palmeiras and Corinthians.
He was a serial winner, particularly in Madrid where he helped Los Blancos win four La Liga titles and three Champions League titles as well as plenty of other silverware.
But did you know that prior to joining Inter in 1995, Carlos could have moved to Aston Villa?
After playing in a friendly for Brazil against Sweden at Villa Park he impressed the chairman at the time Doug Ellis, and the defender revealed that he had talks with the club.
“I actually came close to joining Aston Villa early in my career,” said Carlos (via The Sun).
“I met with the club, but nothing happened.”
It is thought that the manager Brian Little wasn’t quite as keen as his chairman to sign the Brazilian, who as already mentioned ended up joining Inter Milan that summer.
As for Villa, they ended up spending their money on a young Gareth Southgate.
We will never know how Carlos’ career would have panned out had he moved to Villa Park and not the San Siro. In 1997 he finished second for the Fifa World Player of the Year award, would that have been the case had he been plying his trade in the West Midlands?
One thing is for sure, the player himself will have no regrets about the way his career panned out, given the sheer amount of domestic and international honours he won.
Aston Villa fans, how gutted are you that your team missed out on signing Roberto Carlos? Let us know in the comments below…
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