Who is Romário??
Romario de Souza Faria is a Brazilian footballer who achieved fame for his play in Dutch, Spanish, and Brazilian football. Romario solidified his legacy as one of the best strikers of his time with three hundred and sixty-six goals throughout his career. The Brazilian striker helped bring both club and country to success over his 24-year career.
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Romario de Souza Faria (commonly referred to as Romario)was born in Rio De Janeiro in January of 1966. Romario spent all of his childhood in the capital city and began playing football at an early age. As soon as he was able, Romario joined the local football club, Olaria, at 13. He played for the local club for a season before moving clubs to Vasco da Gama. Romario played on the junior team at Vasco for four seasons. It was here that Romario established his abilities as a phenomenal striker. In the summer of 1985, Romario was called up to the senior team at Vasco. In his first year as a professional footballer, Romario scored 11 goals in 28 appearances, primarily in regional league play. Over his next three seasons at Vasco, Romario began to make a name for himself as a goal scorer. He put in 69 goals in only 113 appearances.
After four seasons at Vasco, Romario caught the eye of European scouts and made his way t the Netherlands in 1988 where he began playing for PSV Eindhoven. Romario immediately began contributing to his side with an impressive 26 goals in 34 appearances with the club. At the end of the 88-89 season, Romario helped PSV take home an Eredivisie championship. In his second season with PSV, Romario continued to put up an impressive number of goals. His style of play became immediately recognizable on the pitch. His ability to control the penalty area helped him continue to rack up goal after goal.
In the 1990-91 season, Romario put in 30 goals in 30 appearances. This impressive showing helped his club regain the Eredivisie title for a second time during his tenure. The following season saw Romario out of play for almost half the season. He still managed to score 9 goals in 19 appearances and help his club win a third league title. His final season at PSV was as productive as the rest of his time at the club. Romario scored 32 goals in 39 appearances.
In the summer of 1993, Romario was transferred to Spain where he would join one of the most star-studded sides in Barcelona history. The striker’s goal scoring ability had brought him a lot of attention and made him a sought-after talent when building some of the earliest dream-teams in European football. In his first season for Barcelona, Romario did not disappoint. His dominance of the penalty area and his incredible ability to finish any run earned him 32 goals in 47 appearances. His showing earned him the league's top goal-scoring award and in 1994 he helped Barcelona win La Liga. Romario and his seemingly unstoppable Barca side went all the way to the UEFA Champions League Final that year but ended up losing to Milan. His attacking ability earned Romario the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994.
With such success in 1994, many were excited for Romario’s second season with the club. However, with a bit of controversy and drama, Romario suddenly exited the team in January of 1995. A disagreement with then-manager Johan Cruyff was cited as the reason for Romario’s Departure.
After leaving Barca, Romario returned to Brazil and began playing for the Rio De Janeiro based club Flamengo. Romario’s homecoming did not affect his goal-scoring ability. In his first season with the club, Romario scored 37 goals in 46 appearances. After finishing the season with Flamengo, Romario was transferred back to Spain, this time to play for Valencia.
Romario’s time at Valencia was short-lived. The Brazilian striker played only five games for the Spanish club before being put on loan back to Flamengo where he finished the season. Romario returned to Valencia the following season, but only played 7 games before being transferred back to Flamengo.
Romario’s next three seasons at Flamengo continued his incredibly productive goalscoring. The striker scored 116 goals in 130 appearances. In 2000, Romario was transferred across town to Flamengo rival Vasco Da Gama, where he started his football career. During his time at Vasco, Romario led his team with legendary forward Edmundo Alves de Souza Neto. The two brought Vasco all the way to the FIFA Club World Final in 2000. The club won the Brazilian league title and Romario held the title as the league’s top goal scorer. In his final two seasons with Vasco Romario scored more goals than appearances.
In 2002, Romario was transferred to Fluminense. His three-year stint with the club saw some controversy with a loan to Al-Sadd in Qatar that only lasted for three games. In 2004, Romario was let go from the club due to an altercation with a fan and his coach. He returned to Vasco for another two years where he continued to add to his scoring totals.
In his final few years of club play, Romario moved around in a series of single-season contracts. A season with Miami FC in 2006 was followed by a move to Australia to play for Adelaide FC. He returned for a final stint at Vasco Da Gama before retiring from the game of football in 2008. However, Romario returned to play a single match for Rio De Janeiro based America FC as a fulfilment of his father’s wish to see him play for the club.
During his time on the Brazilian National Team, Romario solidified himself as one of the most explosive goal scorers in Brazilian football history. His first major competition came in 1988 when the Brazilian National team won a silver medal in the Olympics. Romario was the top goalscorer in the competition.
In 1990, Romario was limited in his participation in the World Cup due to an injury. The only game he played in was a loss to Scotland. In 1994, Romario was excluded from the first few qualifying matches for that year's World Cup. He returned for the final qualifying game and scored the two goals that helped qualify Brazil for the tournament. During the tournament, Romario scored five goals to help his side. At the end of it all, Romario and the Brazilian National Football team lifted the World Cup for the fourth time in team history.
Despite previous success for the team, Romario was left out of the World Cup squad in 1998 due to a muscular injury. In 2002, Romario was left out again due to his lack of discipline that was displayed while playing at Vasco. Even without Romario, Brazil went on to win another World Cup. Romario played his final game for the Brazil National Football team in 2005 where he acted as captain during a friendly with Guatemala. Romario was a key piece in getting the 2014 World Cup to be hosted in Brazil. Classic Brazil football shirts from Romario’s best years are some of the best classic football shirts for collectors.
Over his long career, Romario earned a good number of trophies for both club and country. Throughout his career at PSV Eindhoven, Romario helped the club win three league titles in only four seasons. Romario won La Liga with Barcelona in 1994, the same year he helped Brazil win a World Cup.
1994 was a break-out year for the Brazilian striker. In addition to his club and national team honours, Romario was named the FIFA World Player of the Year and he earned the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball as well as the Bronze Boot. At the time, the Ballon d’Or was only awarded to European footballers. However, in a re-evaluation done in 2016, Romario was awarded an honorary Ballon d’Or.
As part of one of the most dominant Barcelona sides to ever exist, Romario has shared the pitch with some of the most legendary footballers of all time.
The two Brazilian goal scorers shared the pitch for both club and country. Each contributing to some of the most aggressive offensive football of the time for both Barcelona and the Brazil National Team.
The Bulgarian forward joined Romario as part of the Barcelona dream team that swept La Liga in 1994. Stoichkov won the Ballon d’Or in 1994 and assisted Romario in adding to the team's goal margin.
Koeman and Romario played on the same side for many years both at PSV and Barcelona. The Dutch defender was one of the best footballers to come from the Netherlands and is the current manager at Barcelona.
The Danish attacking midfielder joined Romario as another addition to the Barcelona Dream Team. Laudrup and Romario connected on several attacks that resulted in goals for their club.
Where Is He Now?
After leaving football, Romario had a very brief career as a coach for his beloved Vasco Da Gama. He left football altogether soon after. In 2010, Romario entered a career in politics. He currently serves as a Federal Deputy representing his home town of Rio de Janeiro.
Romario ranks as one of the best goal scorers in all of football. His ability to control the box and finish runs earned him the title of one of the best strikers of all time. Classic Barcelona football shirts from Romario's period with the dream team are iconic of Romario’s devastating offensive attack.