Brazilian chef hopes to give legend Roberto Carlos a taste of home on Shrewsbury visit

A Brazilian chef from the same small town as football legend Roberto Carlos wants to give him a taste of home when he makes his Shrewsbury Sunday League debut.

Chef Eloisa Simoes, with husband Andrew Griffiths, is from the same town as Roberto
Chef Eloisa Simoes, with husband Andrew Griffiths, is from the same town as Roberto

The World Cup winner, considered the best left back of all time, is due to play in a match for Bull in the Barne United soon after the club won eBay's Dream Transfer Raffle.

The 48-year-old ex-Real Madrid ace hails from the town of Garca, something he has in common with Eloisa Simoes, a chef who lives in Church Stretton.

Now she's hoping to bring him some Brazilian culture in the form of food to make Carlos feel at home in Shropshire.

Her husband Andrew said: "She's from Garca in Sao Paulo state which is a coffee farming area. That's her family background – coffee and agriculture.

"Garca is quite a rural landscape and about four or five hours from the city of Sao Paulo. All very different from Shropshire, England and Wales.

"She grew up there, then studied in Sao Paulo. Then she came to Europe in her 20s, studied in France and ended up in London."

That was where she met Andrew in 1994. The pair moved back up to Andrew's home county of Shropshire in 2002.

"She wouldn't have known Roberto herself," Andrew added, "but her brother was a keen amateur footballer. He's got a friend in Garca who knows Roberto well. It's all rather historic now because Roberto went on to much bigger and better things.

"People in the town are pretty proud of him. There's a video of him talking about Garca. It's in Portuguese, but it seems like he's got good memories of the town and is proud of his background."

Asked about things Eloisa misses in Brazil, Andrew said: "The weather and the food, although she's pretty Anglicised now to be fair. She likes going back but is pretty used to European life.

"Rice and beans is the local speciality. It's like the equivalent of fish and chips over here. It'd be funny to see his face if we could wheel out a plate of rice and beans for his pre-match or post match meal.

"It might be nice for him to have a bit of Brazilian culture. He'll probably be a bit disorientated. I doubt he will have heard of Shropshire, and he definitely won't have heard of Hanwood!"

A date and venue for Carlos' Sunday league debut have not yet been revealed, but the news created excitement in the town.

When their new signing was unveiled, the Bull's striker and club secretary Matt "Chicken" Brown said: “None of us believed it was true at first, but it’s just fantastic.

“I don’t know if a hug is too forward when I meet him?

“We’re all so excited for it. We’re all a similar age and have grown up watching him, he’s iconic. Everyone knows the free-kick against France at Le Tournoi and we all watched it. To be on the same pitch as him will be amazing.”

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