Roberto Carlos denies lapse in Brazil's World Cup elimination

Roberto Carlos denied he was to blame for Brazil's elimination from the World Cup, and said the 1-0 quarterfinal loss to France will haunt him forever.

"I'm leaving the Brazilian national team with a sad defeat that will stay with me for the rest of my life," he said from Madrid in an interview with Brazil's Globo TV network on Sunday.

Brazilian media have exhaustively shown replays of France's victory: A pinpoint free kick by Zinedine Zidane and striker Thierry Henry racing unmarked into the zone usually covered by Roberto Carlos to score the lone goal which eliminated Brazil.

The videotape shows Roberto Carlos, 33, resting outside the penalty box, hands on his knees.

"The question Brazil is asking is, why didn't Roberto Carlos move?" the daily Rio de Janeiro daily O Globo said after the game.

Roberto Carlos denied it was a defensive lapse.

"I did what I was supposed to do. I stayed in my position," Roberto Carlos said. "We had practiced not to go into the penalty area because it's always the goalie's ball."

Roberto Carlos, who announced his retirement from the national team immediately after the game, admitted he was desolated by the loss to France, which upset Brazil 3-0 in the 1998 World Cup final for its only title.

"What can you do? Beat your head against the wall?" he said. "To lose to France again ..."

Roberto Carlos, who started for Brazil also in the previous Cups in 1998 and 2002, said he had hoped to win another title in his final World Cup. Brazil was considered a heavy favorite going into the tournament.

Source: Xinhua

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