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Meet The Sunday League Player Set To Be Benched For Roberto Carlos In One-Off Game

Josh Lawless

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Meet The Sunday League Player Set To Be Benched For Roberto Carlos In One-Off Game

Roberto Carlos is in line to take the place of a software engineer when he comes out of retirement for a one-off Sunday League game.

Liam Turrall came across eBay's 'Dream transfer raffle' - where those involved in a team were able to bid £5 for the chance to have the greatest left-back of all-time turn out for one game.

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All the funds from bids are going to educational charity Football Beyond Borders and helping disadvantaged children.

29-year-old Liam, who plays for pub team Bull in the Barne United in the Greenhous Shrewsbury & District Sunday Football League, convinced player-manager Ed Speller to put a cheeky bid in.

The Shropshire outfit were announced as the winners on Deadline Day and will now have the Brazilian legend pulling on their maroon shirt in the coming weeks.

"Honestly, I put about five seconds of thought into it, it was just a quick share to the group chat," Liam told SPORTbible.

"I didn’t enter and wasn’t planning on it but Ed Speller (manager and goalkeeper) threw an entry in for that 'what if scenario'.

"That was the last we heard about it as conversation moved on, we never thought we’d win.

"We thought it was a wind up, even though we knew we’d entered it seemed more likely to be a cruel joke. It took two days for us to really believe and at that point everyone’s heads had completely gone. I had to message my boss and apologise in advance for being less than productive, I literally couldn’t think straight.

"I’ve never seen everyone so engaged and together, the group chat has been non-stop, morale is at an all time high and we’re seeing record numbers at training. Everyone is working for their spot in the starting line-up. We’ve been putting out some content on socials to promote the day and share more about ourselves."

Image: Liam Turrall
Image: Liam Turrall

Carlos, having played with legends like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazario and David Beckham, will now link up with Dan 'Meathead' Davis and Matt 'Chicken' Brown.

Liam, who has been with Bull in the Barne for five seasons, is the team's regular left-back and said he would "take the bench with good grace" to allow the World Cup winner into the starting XI.

Image: Liam Turrall
Image: Liam Turrall

But Carlos could well be playing further up the pitch and providing that Brazilian flair in attack.

Liam added: "There are some unsubstantiated claims from teammates that I’m the best left back in Shropshire, and while I prefer to stay on the modest side, I’ve worked hard over the years to establish a consistent spot in the starting line-up.

"Now if it came down to me or Carlos I’d accept that his silverware cupboard is a bit fuller than mine, and his accolades trump mine so I’d take the bench with good grace. As luck would have it, I think we’ll be looking to deploy him where he can make the biggest impact; In a more attacking role possibly as a number ten.

"I think everyone would love to see him live up to his reputation by scoring a screamer, the guys would go absolutely mental."

There's a notion that Sunday League football on these shores is lacking technical ability and all about long balls and big, crunching tackles.

But what is Bull in the Barne's philosophy and will Carlos be able fit in?


"It used to be hoof it and chase, but now we’ve woken up a bit and realised we can play aesthetically pleasing football," Liam explained.

"We do revert to panicky rushed build up when under pressure, but that is something Carlos can help with. His wealth of experience and talents on the ball will definitely be put to use, and we’ll be getting him involved as much as possible to deliver some quality passes and hopefully trademark strikes.

"I’m confident he hasn’t played on a surface like this for decades. In classic Sunday league fashion our pitch is riddled with molehills, bobbles, and some soggy bits. We’ve seen what he can do on the carpet-like surface of the Santiago Bernabéu, now let’s see if he can do it on a miserable wet day in Shrewsbury."

It would understandable for Bull in the Barne's players to be in awe of the 49-year-old. After all, he's done it all in the game and lifted all the major trophies in an illustrious career.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But don't get twisted, if he's not pulling his weight they'll let him know about it.

Liam continued: "For the day he’s one of the lads. And while we might be in awe a little bit, he’s going to get the same treatment anyone else on the pitch goes. We have big voices in the middle of the pitch who will be on him if he’s not putting in the effort, so he better be ready to put a shift in or he’s getting lambasted."

Liam is hopeful of having Carlos joining the lads in the pub and is more than willing to buy him a pint even if his pockets are deep enough to get a round in.

One thing is for sure though: the set-piece specialist is absolutely going to be taking free-kicks within range.

"We do have a couple of confident free kick takers in the squad who have chirped up about showing him how it’s done. In reality I think we’re giving him anything within 40 yards and encouraging him to smash it, let’s be honest."

Featured Image Credit: Image: eBay & Liam Turrall

Topics: Roberto Carlos, Brazil, Real Madrid

Josh Lawless
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