Brazilian whips up ITE frenzy

Roberto Carlos (centre) and Fandi Ahmad kicking signed footballs into the audience. The two were warmly feted by the 500 people at the ITE College Central.
Roberto Carlos (centre) and Fandi Ahmad kicking signed footballs into the audience. The two were warmly feted by the 500 people at the ITE College Central.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
The Brazilian, a club ambassador for Spain’s Real Madrid, also presented Fandi with an autographed jersey.
The Brazilian, a club ambassador for Spain’s Real Madrid, also presented Fandi with an autographed jersey. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

He might be here for only a day, but former Real Madrid footballer Roberto Carlos still found time to wield his mighty left leg during his whirlwind tour of Singapore yesterday.

The retired Brazil international is here at the invitation of the Real Madrid Foundation Technical Academy, launched in 2013 in collaboration with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central.

At the ITE College Central, he booted autographed footballs into the 500-strong crowd, sending the students into a frenzy with each kick.

There, the man recognised as one of the finest left-backs in the sport was joined by local icon Fandi Ahmad, as both shared what they learnt over their careers in a session called Celebrating Values Through Sport.

Roberto Carlos, 43, was later whisked to the Stamford American International School, where he fielded more questions from the excited students.

Asked how he felt about being a role model, the Brazilian, an ambassador for Real, said: "The important thing is to carry yourself well on and off the pitch and always stay respectful."

The 2002 World Cup winner later took to the pitch and joined in a training session with the children.

There was also time to show off the power generated by his signature thunder thighs, as he belted two shots at goal from the halfway line. Both went in.

Roberto Carlos, who won three Champions League titles and four La Liga championships with Real, leaves for Malaysia today.

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Brazilian whips up ITE frenzy'. Print Edition | Subscribe