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Romário de Souza Faria (born January 29, 1966 in Rio de Janeiromarker), better known simply as Romário, is a Brazilianmarker football striker who helped the Brazil national team win the 1994 FIFA World Cup and is one of the most prolific strikers in the world.

He was selected the FIFA World Player of the Year and won the World Cup Golden Ball in 1994 and named as one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA'smarker 100th anniversary celebration. He is also known as one of the very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1000 goals.

Johan Cruyff defined him as "genius of the goal area".

Club career


From the very humble origins, Romário was spotted in childhood when playing for Olaria AC, a small club from the Rio de Janeiro suburb. He was taken to the junior team of Vasco da Gama where he won two state leagues (1987/88) and earned his first call-ups to the national team. Romário came to international attention when he became the top scorer at the 1988 Olympic football tournament.

Shortly after he moved to PSV Eindhoven, where he won the Dutch League in 1989, 1991 and 1992. Romário moved to Spainmarker's FC Barcelona for the 1993-1994 season, in which, along with players like Hristo Stoichkov, José Mari Bakero, Josep Guardiola, Michael Laudrup and Ronald Koeman, he helped the club win the League, while becoming the season's top goalscorer with 30 goals in 33 matches.

Romário was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994, after being the runner-up in 1993. In 1995 he returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo. He spent the next year in Valencia. In 1998, he missed the World Cup and then returned to Flamengo until 1999.

He played for Vasco da Gama again in 2000, winning the Mercosur Cup, the Brazilian League, the South American and Brazilian Footballer of the Year award. From 2002 until 2004 he played for Fluminense. On October 21, 2004 he was fired from the club after a conflict with the coach. He then went back to play for the team he started at, Vasco da Gama. In 2005, at nearly 40 years of age, Romário scored 22 goals in the Brazilian Championship, making him the league's top goalscorer.

In the beginning of 2006, he joined Miami FC along with former 1994 FIFA World Cup teammate Zinho. He helped Miami FC reach their first ever USL First Division Playoffs, scoring 19 league goals in 25 appearances for the team. In the biggest coup of the A-League's short history, Romário was signed by AUFC Board member Mel Patzwald to the Australian A-League club Adelaide United FC. He played his first match for Adelaide United FC on November 25, 2006 against the Central Coast Mariners FC. After his final game during his short stint on December 15, 2006 he finally scored a goal for Adelaide to end what many considered to be a disappointing spell with the club. In January 2007 he signed a new deal with Vasco da Gama.

One thousandth goal

On May 20, 2007, Romário scored his 1000th goal, a penalty kick against Sport Recife, playing for Vasco da Gama. He claims he is the second player in professional football history to achieve this, after Pelé in 1969. The 1000th goal drew much attention from both Brazilian and international press, with the game being stopped for over 20 minutes to allow for celebrations from his fans. There is some controversy over the validity of the 1000 goals as it claim is somewhat inaccurate, because Romário's research team counted his goals in junior, friendly and non-official games.

FIFAmarker congratulated Romário on his milestone goal but stated he is still officially on 929 goals, as 77 came in youth football, with others being scored in friendly matches.

In 2008 Romário released a DVD with the best goals of his career totaling 900 goals in the disc.

Player/Manager of Vasco da Gama

On October 24, 2007, it was announced that Romário would take charge of his first match as the interim manager of Vasco da Gama against Club América of Mexico in the return leg of their Copa Sudamericana quarter final and he would also participate on the field as a player. Romário, then 41 years of age, replaced Celso Roth as the manager of Vasco da Gama, and also played the match against Club América at the same time. The Vasco da Gama president Eurico Miranda declared to Globo Online that Romário would be in charge of the team for the match, but it is likely to only be temporarily. On February 6, Romario objected to Miranda's intervention in team selection, so was dismissed, but remained contracted to Vasco as a player.

On December 4, 2007, Romário announced he had tested positive for finasteride (aka Propecia) after a match against Palmeiras on October 28. He claims it was in an anti-baldness treatment; however, the drug is banned as it is a masking agent for anabolic steroids.

Retirement and Comeback

On February 5, 2008 Romário announced his retirement both from playing and coaching, effective at the end of March. This move came somewhat unexpectedly, as fans anticipated that he would retire from playing, but not coaching. He made it clear that he will only concentrate on the Confederations Cup and helping with the 2014 World Cup. However, on March 27, Romario denied that he had retired. His contract with Vasco had finished so he is now waiting for proposals from other clubs. It is likely that he will return to play a farewell match, perhaps with Vasco, Flamengo or América (América is a smaller club from Rio, who Romario's father, Edevair Faria, always supports).

Romário announced on April 15, 2008 at his DVD launch that he would retire from the game of football. He cited his weight as a major factor in his decision to retire from the game. Romário played for many clubs that spanned across four continents for over two decades. He scored 71 goals in 85 appearances for Brazil (including appearances and goals in the Olympics) and claimed to have scored over 1,000 club goals. Romário officially announced his retirement from playing, saying:

"Officially I'm not playing any more.
I've stopped," he said.
"My time is up.
Everything has been a lot of fun."

In August of 2009, Romário announced that he would come out of retirement to play for América Football Club from Rio de Janeiromarker. He stated that he would play for the club to fulfill his father's wishes.

On November 25th, 2009, Romário made his comeback. Fulfilling his father's wishes, he came on during the 68th minute of the match between América and Artsul, replacing Adriano. Although he didn't score, América was able to come forth with a 2-0 win, which led the club to the title of the Second Division of the Carioca Championship.

National team

As a member of the Brazilian national team, Romário won the silver Olympic medal in Seoul in 1988, scoring seven goals. He was part of the Brazilian squad in the World Cups of 1990 and 1994. He scored 71 goals in 85 international matches (includes Olympic matches), being the second highest goalscorer in the history of the Brazilian team; only bettered by Pelé. He was a reserve in the 1990 World Cup, playing only 66 minutes in one match, against Scotland. Brazil was eliminated in second round by Argentina.

1994 World Cup

In 1992, during Romário's successful season at PSV Eindhoven, he was called to the national team for a friendly match against Germany at 12/16/1992 in Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira left Romário as a reserve, after which he expressed his dissatisfaction, saying he would not have come over from Netherlands if he had known he was not going to play. These declarations caused Parreira to ban Romário from the Brazilian team.

Brazil played the first seven matches of the 1994 World Cup qualification without Romário, and suffered their first loss ever in World Cup qualifying against Bolivia. Journalists and fans called for his return to the team. Brazil had to beat Uruguay at the Maracanã Stadiummarker to finish first of their group. Before the match against Uruguay, Parreira gave up and called Romário. Brazil won 2-0, with Romário scoring both goals, and qualified to the World Cup.

At the World Cup finals, he partnered with Bebeto in the attack to lead his country to a record fourth World Cup title. He scored five goals in the tournament: one in each of the three first round matches, against Russia, Cameroon, and Sweden; one against the Netherlands in quarterfinals; and the game-winning header against Sweden in the semifinals. He also assisted Bebeto in the only goal of the match against the United States in the round of 16. He was voted the most outstanding player of the tournament.

The Ro-Ro attack

In the subsequent years, Romário formed, along with fellow Brazilian forward Ronaldo, a feared attacking combo, which was colloquially referred to as the Ro-Ro duo. They each scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win against Australia in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup final.

1998 and 2002 World Cup absence

Romário was left out of the 1998 World Cup squad. Medical exams had revealed that he had a muscular injury, and he received intensive treatment leading up to the tournament, but he did not recover completely and was dismissed the day of the deadline for the World Cup squad submissions. "Brazil in the 1998 World Cup" - Brazil lost the World Cup final against hosts France.

Prior to the 2002 World Cup, Romário, aged 36, was in considerably good form while playing for Fluminense, but once again he was left out of the national squad by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari due to indiscipline. Brazil went on to win the tournament, beating Germany in the final.

Last game for Brazil

On April 28, 2005, Romário played his last game with the Brazilian national team in a friendly and celebratory match. He wore the captain armband and scored the second goal in Brazil's 3-0 win against Guatemala and finished off with a yellow card.


  • Johan Cruyff defined him as "genius of the goal area".
  • Former Argentina international player Diego Maradona, in his autobiography Yo soy El Diego, described Romário as an "incredible finisher" adding that he had not seen a striker like him, and mentioning that Romário would be in his all-time "dream team" without any hesitation.
  • Roberto Baggio said: "Romário is one of the greatest players of all time. He has good technique and personality. He is a master of art in the penalty area."
  • Michael Laudrup has stated that Romario was his favorite striking partner throughout his career. "No one else could utilize my passes the way he did."

Footvolley and Beach soccer

Since the 1990s Romário has been a Footvolley enthusiast, playing with friends in various tournaments. In 2006 he won the VIP Open in Miami Beachmarker, USA. He also plays Beach soccer and represented Brazil at the 2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Personal life

Romário is known for his polemic declarations and explosive humour. He is self declared against team concentration during championships, which has led him to disagree with several coaches, including Luiz Felipe Scolari, who rejected him for FIFA World Cup 2002. He has also been known for missing training.

Career statistics




Vasco da Gama
CR America FC
PSV Eindhoven




References and notes

  1. Romário completes a famous 1,000, 21 May 2007
  2. Romario falls short in quest of 1,000th goal
  3. "Romario still going strong at 40" -, February 2006.
  4. Romario notches 1,000 goal, May 20, 2007
  5. Romario nets 1000th goal of career, May 20, 2007
  6. Romário converts penalty for 1,000th goal Sports Illustrated, May 20, 2007
  7. Imprensa internacional destaca milésimo gol de Romário - Folha Online, May 20, 2007
  8. Romário 1.000 goals - May 20, 2007
  9. Controversy on the road to 1,000, BBC News, May 21, 2007
  10. Romario writes his own history - Daily Mail, May 21, 2007
  11. Romário completes a famous 1,000 FIFA.COM, May 21, 2007
  12. Romario bags 1,000th career goal Miami Herald, May 21, 2007
  13.,,MUL713246-9825,00-ROMARIO+LANCA+DVD+E+DIZ+QUE+RONALDO+ESTA+CHEINHO+MAS+VAI+ESVAZIAR.html Romário lança DVD], August 6, 2008
  16. "Brazil in the 1994 World Cup" -
  17. Romario falls short in quest of 1,000th goal

External links

1985 Vasco da Gama Série A 21 11
1986 40 30
1987 37 23
1988 24 16

1988-89 PSV Eindhoven Eredivisie 24 19
1989-90 20 23
1990-91 25 25
1991-92 14 9
1992-93 26 22

1993-94 Barcelona La Liga 33 30
1994-95 13 4

1995 Flamengo Série A 37 33
1996 22 26

1996-97 Valencia La Liga 5 4

1997 Flamengo Série A 23 21

1997-98 Valencia La Liga 4 1

1998 Flamengo Série A 28 24
1999 35 28
2000 Vasco da Gama Série A 44 39
2001 27 34
2002 32 23
2002 Fluminense Série A 22 15

2002-03 Al-Sadd 3 0

2003 Fluminense Série A 21 13
2004 13 5
2005 Vasco da Gama Série A 31 22 2 1 10 7 0 0 43 30
2006 0 0 1 3 10 6 0 0 11 9

2006 Miami USL First Division 23 18

2006-07 Adelaide United A-League 4 1

2007 Vasco da Gama Série A 6 3 3 2 9 10 1 0 19 15
Team Goals Matches Goal average
Vasco da Gama 326 410 0.79
PSV Eindhoven 163 165 0.98
FC Barcelona 53 84 0.63
Flamengo 204 240 0.85
Valencia CF 14 21 0.67
Fluminense 48 77 0.62
Al Sadd SC 0 3 0
Miami FC 22 29 0.76
Adelaide United 1 4 0.25
Brazil National Team 56 74 0.76
Brazil Olympic Team 15 11 1.36
Youth years 77 127 0.61
Others 21 13 1.61
Total 1002 1256 0.79

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