Brazil and Real Madrid legend Roberto Carlos has become the seventh superstar footballer to agree to play an exhibition match in Pakistan.
The diminutive left-back — best remembered for a hammer of a left foot — joins the likes of Ronaldinho, Robert Pires, Luis Boa Morte, David James, Nicolas Anelka and George Boateng in agreeing to visit Pakistan for a showcase match organised by the Leisure Leagues Pakistan (LLP).
“Ronaldinho is a friend of mine,” said Carlos. “When he told me about this fantastic project which is being organized by the World Group and the head of the organization Mr Mehmood Trunkwala, I had no hesitation in saying that I wanted to join the tour.”
“Who knows, maybe ten years down the line scientists in Pakistan will be studying a goal I score on this tour!” he added with a smile, clearly referring to his physics-defying 1997 free kick against France.
About the venture itself, Carlos said: “I am impressed that the World Group, together with Leisure Leagues, are so dedicated to Pakistani football development that they went to great lengths to organize the tour.”
Carlos, arguably the greatest left-back the game has ever seen, had a glittering playing career for both Brazil and Real Madrid.
He won four Spanish La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues in the Spanish capital, but the crown jewel in his collection remains the 2002 FIFA World Cup he won with Brazil.
LLP, a brainchild of World Group chief Mehmood Trunkwala and family, is a nationwide initiative to bring football to Pakistan and develop it at the grass-roots level.