Aston Villa’s history of full-backs in the Premier League era, is hardly a list to make rival fans and/or managers envious, from Steve Staunton to Alan Hutton, it has been a very ‘Aston Villa’ list. However, one of the best – if not the best – left-backs from the modern era very nearly ended up at Villa Park.
“I actually came close to joining Aston Villa early in my career,”
“I met with the club, but nothing happened.
“Birmingham were also interested, but it didn’t go anywhere and I later joined Inter Milan.”
Roberto Carlos speaking to the Sun
The Brazilian icon is part of an elite group of players that fans of the beautiful game always wished ended up in the Premier League, with Francesco Totti and Ronaldo topping the pile. However, the reality is for the top flight of English football, and has been for at least a decade, it no longer carries the appeal it still thinks it does.
Former teammates of Carlos, Michel Salgado and Fernando Hierro, plus the likes of Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha, all world-class and high-profile names, opted for the Premier League at points in their career where it was merely a curtain-closer.
And that’s what the true top quality footballers view the Premier League as; one final payday – ironic considering the unwarranted abuse English football fans give the likes of Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League.
“I met with Roman Abramovich in Paris we spoke and there were a few things we couldn’t agree on,” he said.
“It was close but, in the end, it wasn’t possible.”
If the former Palmeiras defender had managed to agree a deal with the Blues’ billionaire owner, he would’ve joined the west London outfit at the age of 34.
But the headline wouldn’t have read what it should’ve: ‘Past it Galactico joins the side that has won two of the last three Premier League titles highlighting that English football can’t attract players in their prime’.
The appeal of the Premier League has been long in decline, much longer than those with an attachment with it will tell you.
Just look at the 1995/96 Aston Villa squad that Roberto Carlos nearly joined!