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A Tale Of How Roberto Carlos Almost Became Gary Breen's Teammate

Mark Farrelly
By Mark Farrelly
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I'm sure there are plenty of 'nearly happened' deals and moments in football that could have seriously altered its history, and this story is definitely one of them.

In the summer of 1995 Barry Fry was manager of Birmingham City, who had just been promoted from Division Two and would go on to sign Gary Breen a few months later. Fry was impressed with a young Brazilian left-back after he scored a wonder goal for his country against Japan in the Umbro Cup; a match played in Goodison Park.

That young upstart was Roberto Carlos.


Long before he became a Galactico, Carlos was oh-so-close to becoming a Brummie but the move fell through due to a disagreement between clubs over the fee.

'And this tournament was significant because at the time I had an offer from an English club - Birmingham. I remember it to this day', says Carlos. 'But it didn't work out because Uniao Sao Joao were asking for too much money.'

Skip to five minutes into this interview to hear him talk about it.


Imagine Roberto Carlos and Gary Breen, side by side. An unstoppable force! Alas, the football Gods did not agree and the two would never line out together. Instead Carlos signed for Inter Milan but by the time Breen was linked to the Italian side Carlos had long left to join Real Madrid. Like two ships passing in the night.

hat-tip: Daily Mail

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