Football: Beckham best says Roberto Carlos

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The Independent Online
ROBERTO CARLOS, the Brazilian who knows a thing or two about taking free-kicks, thinks David Beckham is the master of the art.

The Real Madrid left-back, who gained his reputation as a dead-ball genius with a sensational 30-yard free-kick against France at Le Tournoi two years ago, has dismissed that swerving strike as a "fluke" and nominated Beckham as the best.

He told the magazine FourFourTwo that David Beckham has "got a much better shot from free-kicks than me. He really places the ball beautifully."

As for other English-based players the former Internazionale player admires, Roberto Carlos names Liverpool's Paul Ince and Emmanuel Petit, of Arsenal and France, as the two that have his respect.

"The one who really impressed me was Paul Ince, I played with him at Inter. He's got real character and presence on the pitch and he's a great bloke off the pitch too," the Brazilian said. "I like Petit because of the way he has adapted to the English style of play. He's a quality player. Actually there are lots of players I like."

One of whom, Steve McManaman, is to join him at the Bernabeu this summer.