Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Romario: End of an era

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Apr 2008

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Brazilian star striker Romario has officially announced his retirement. The end of an era, in which the player achieved things many can only dream of. Here is a short overview.

Romário de Souza Faria was born in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on January 29th, 1966. At nineteen years of age, ‘o Baixinho – the short one’, joined Vasco da Gama in his home town. This club would continue to be of great influence in his career.

In 1988, Romário decided to join then European champions PSV Eindhoven from the Netherlands. He soon gained popularity at the Dutch club and scored no less than 98 goals in 109 matches.

Life wasn’t easy for Romario in the Netherlands though, struggling particularly with the cold weather and often appearing wearing gloves and long socks.

After a two-year stint at FC Barcelona, where Romario continued to score more than regularly, he would spend the next year switching back and forth from Flamengo to Valencia.

In following years, the forward would also play for Vasco, Fluminense, Al-Sadd, again Fluminense, again Vasco, Miami FC and Adelaide United, before playing a final six matches for the club where it all started. Vasco da Gama.

Romario won many trophies during his long club career, but his biggest triumph may have been in 1994. Forming part of Brazil’s World Cup squad, he was one of the key players in the team’s way to the final victory. Romario also scored one of Brazil’s penalties in the deciding shoot-out with Italy in the final.

In 2007, Romario’s name continued to dominate media worldwide as the then 41 year old headed for his 1,000th goal, something only achieved by fellow countryman Pelé.

While sources disagree on what exactly is Romario’s 1,000th goal, the player himself claims that a converted spotkick against Sport Recife on May 20th, while playing for Vasco, was the one that took the player to four digits.

Initially, the idea was that Romario would retire after scoring that goal. However, he went on to become Vasco’s player-manager in October, 2007.

In March, the final decision was made and Romario announced that his 23-year-long career would now – really – come to an end.

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