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Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012

Roberto Carlos calls time on career


MOSCOW — Brazil World Cup winner Roberto Carlos has officially retired from soccer, the manager of Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, where he was playing, has said.

News photo
One of the greats: Brazil's Roberto Carlos, seen here playing against Germany in the 2002 World Cup final in Yokohama, retired from soccer Wednesday at the age of 39. AP

The 39-year-old was one of the big-spending Russian Premier League's most high-profile signings when he joined in February 2011 but has not played since March this year.

Team manager Guus Hiddink confirmed the left-back's retirement at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Roberto was a world-class football player. Unfortunately, he no longer plays. Every master's career ends at some point," he said, according to a transcript in Russian on Anzhi's website.

"However, Roberto is now fully involved in developing the new Anzhi. I am sure he will contribute to the growth of not only the Dagestani club but all of Russian football."

Carlos began his professional career in 1991 at Uniao Sao Joao, going on to play for Palmeiras before a move to Europe with Inter Milan in 1995. He signed for Real Madrid the following year, staying at the Spanish giants until 2007.

Before joining Anzhi, he had spells at Turkish side Fenerbahce and Corinthians in Brazil.

Carlos won 125 caps for Brazil, playing in three World Cups, including the team's 1998 final defeat to France and victory in 2002 in Japan and South Korea. He was also a two-time winner of the Copa America.

In domestic soccer, he twice won the Brazilian championship with Palmeiras, while at Real Madrid he won four Spanish as well as three Champions League titles.

Known for his turn of pace and ability at free-kicks, Carlos will especially be remembered for his stunning "banana shot" against France in 1997, in which he curled in a left-foot free-kick which seemed to be going meters wide.

Inter, Liverpool win


LONDON — Inter Milan and Liverpool both made winning starts to Europa League qualifying on Thursday, but there was disappointment for another former European champion as Marseille was held 1-1 at Eskisehirspor in Turkey.

Inter was a 3-0 winner against Hajduk Split in the away leg of the third qualifying round.

Wesley Sneijder opened the scoring in the 18th minute, with further strikes from Yuto Nagatomo and Philippe Coutinho sealing the win.

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