On 26 February 1992, defender Roberto Carlos made his first appearance for Brazil in a 3-0 win over the United States in a friendly. He went on to play for them a total of 125 times to take second place on Brazil's list of most-capped players.
Only 18 years old at the time, he had just begun his professional career two years earlier with Brazilian Série B side União São João. They were still in Brazil's second tier when Roberto Carlos surprisingly received that first call-up to the national team. But new manager Carlos Alberto Parreira (in the second of his three spells in charge of Brazil) was looking for new blood to rejuvenate the team after a disappointing showing at the 1990 World Cup.
Playing before a home crowd in Fortaleza, the young left wingback proved his worth, helping to keep the visiting Americans scoreless. Meanwhile, his fellow defender Antônio Carlos added one goal to a brace from midfielder Raí as the hosts eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Roberto Carlos missed out on Brazil's 1994 World Cup-winning campaign, but was a voted to the FIFA World Cup All-Star team in 1998 and again in 2002, when Brazil lifted the trophy. He made his last appearance in the 2006 World Cup as Brazil were eliminated by France in the quarterfinals.