Carlos Ángel Roa (born August 15, 1969 in Santa Fe) is an
Argentine football goalkeeper, currently playing with Argentine
first division Olimpo de Bahía Blanca.
Carlos Roa was nicknamed Lechuga (Lettuce) by his teammates
because he follows a strict vegetarian diet.
Roa started playing for Racing Club de Avellaneda in 1988, where
he played before transferring to Club Atlético Lanús in 1994.
Three seasons later, and after winning the Copa CONMEBOL 1996,
he moved to Spain to play with RCD Mallorca.
He was the goalkeper of the Argentina national football team
that participated in the 1998 World Cup held in France. Roa
didn't receive any goals in the group matches, and became a hero
by saving a decisive penalty of the penalty shootout against
England national football team.
With Mallorca, Roa played the 1997/1998 (winning the Supercopa
de España), and 1998/1999 seasons as first goalkeeper before
deciding to take a religious retreat. After a year of charitable
and religious work spent as a member of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church that forbid him to play on Fridays night or
A year later, Lechuga Roa returned to Mallorca for the 2000/2001
season, but didn't find continuity, playing only a few matches.
He moved then to another Spanish team; Albacete, but a
testicular cancer foced him to stop playing and, after an
operation, to spend an entire year between chemotherapy and
rehabilitation. The he trained with spanish Third Division
Constancia de Inca, before returning to homeland Argentina to
play for Olimpo de Bahía Blanca, where he is slowly returning to
his previous goalkeeping level.
Cancer was not Roa's first health problem. While playing with
Racing Club, he got malaria during a summer-tour through Africa.
After recovering, he moved to Lanús.