Meet The Players
These are the players from the last Free Kick Masters event held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Full name||Romário de Souza Faria|
|Date of birth||January 29, 1966 (1966-01-29)|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 6|
|Playing position||Centre Forward (retired)|
Vasco da Gama
|Vasco da Gama|
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
|2007-2008||Vasco da Gama|
1 Senior club appearances and goals
Romário de Souza Faria (born January 29, 1966 in Rio de Janeiro), better known simply as Romário, is a former Brazilian football center forward who helped the Brazil national team win the 1994 FIFA World Cup and has been one of the most prolific strikers in the world since the 1990s, having had successful tenures with European clubs PSV Eindhoven and FC Barcelona, and in Brazil with Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama before retiring in 2008. His professional career extended past age 40, an age by which most professional footballers have retired. He officially announced his retirement from profesional football on April 15th 2008 at the age of 42.
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's 100th anniversary celebration.
 Club career
Born in very humble beginnings, Romário started his career playing for Vasco da Gama (becoming one of the best footballers of the club in the last two decades) where he won two State Championships (1987/88).
His transfer to PSV Eindhoven in 1988 where he won the Dutch League in 1989, 1991 and 1992 reportedly was quite remarkable. PSV unsuccesfully chased Belgian forward Marc Degryse during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul; his club Club Brugge indicating they needed to sign a remplacement first: an "exotic surprise". Not knowing who Club Brugge wanted, PSV's manager desperately asked his teenage son who it could be, responding him "someone called Romário" played pretty good at the Olympic football tournament. The deal was sealed shortly after, not knowing Brugge signed there requested player nearly the same time: Australian striker Frank Farina.
Romário moved to Spain's FC Barcelona for the 1993-1994 season, in which, along with players like Hristo Stoichkov, Jose 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 out 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 18 league goals in 23 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 15th 2006 he scored a decisive goal which was followed with an outpouring of emotion by a crowd who longed for him to extend his stay in Adelaide. 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.
 Player/Manager of Vasco da Gama
On the 24th October 2007 it was said that the Brazilian football legend Romário will take charge of his first match as the interim manager of Vasco da Gama against Club America of Mexico in the return leg of their Copa Sudamericana quarterfinal and he will also participate on the field as a player. Romário then 41 years of age, replaced Celso Roth as the manager of Vasco da Gama, but will also play the match against Club America 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 Beyond
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 form 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 27th, 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 mother, Dona Lita, supports). On April 15, 2008, however, 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."
 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 clamored for his presence. Brazil had to beat Uruguay at the Maracanã Stadium 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, one against Russia, one against Cameroon, one against 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 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 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."
 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 Footvolley.net Open in Miami Beach, 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 Luis Felipe Scolari who rejected him for FIFA World Cup 2002. He has also been known for missing training and thus FC Barcelona incurred fines for each hour he was delayed.
On 15th April 2008 Romario announced 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. Romario played for many clubs that spanned across four continents for over two decades. He scored 71 goals in 85 appearances for Brazil and claimed to have scored over 1,000 clubs goals.
 Career statistics
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for Brazil|
|Silver||1988 Seoul||Team Competition|
- Rio de Janeiro State Championship (1987, 1988, 1996, 1999) - four times champion, seven times leading scorer
- KNVB Cup (1989, 1990) - two times champion
- Dutch League (1989, 1991, 1992) - three times champion and three times leading scorer
- Seoul Olympic Games (1988) - silver medal
- Copa America (1989, 1997) - two times champion and leading scorer
- Spanish League (1994) - champion and leading scorer
- FIFA World Cup 1994 - champion and Most Valuable Player (Golden Ball) Award Winner
- Confederations Cup (1997) - champion and leading scorer
- Mercosur Cup (1999, 2000) - champion
- Brazilian Championship champion (2000) and leading scorer (2001, 2005)
- FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (2005) - 3rd place
- FIFA World Player of the Year 1994
|Dutch Footballer of the Year|
|FIFA World Cup Golden Ball|
|FIFA World Player of the Year|
|South American Footballer of the Year|
Juan Román Riquelme
|Bola de Ouro Winner|
|Dutch Eredivisie Topscorer|
|Brazilian Championship Top Scorer|
|Brazilian Championship Top Scorer|
 Personal titles
- South American championship (U 20): 1985
- Rio state league's top scorer: 1986, 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
- Olympic Games's top scorer: 1988
- Dutch league's top scorer: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992
- Dutch Cup's top scorer: 1989, 1990
- Brazilian champions league's top scorer: 1990
- European Champions League's top scorer: 1990, 1993
- Spanish league's top scorer: 1994
- The best South American top player of the Spanish league (EFE trophy): 1994
- World Cup's top player: 1994
- Onze d'Or (top player of the year for the Onze Mondial French newspaper): 1994
- FIFA Top player: 1994
- Confederations Cup's top scorer: 1997
- Rio-São Paulo tournament's top scorer: 1997, 2000
- Brazilian Cup's top scorer: 1998, 1999
- Copa Mercosul's top scorer: 1999, 2000
- João Havelange's top scorer: 2000
- Top player of the Intercontinental Cup's final: 2000
- Brazilian Bola de Prata (Placar): 2000
- El Pais newspaper (top player): 2000
- Brazilian league's top scorer: 2001, 2005
|Vasco da Gama||326||410||0.79|
|Al Sadd SC||0||3||0|
|Brazil National Team||56||74||0.76|
|Brazil Olympic Team||15||11||1.36|
 References and notes
- ^ "Romario still going strong at 40" - fifaworldcup.yahoo.com, February 2006.
- ^ Romario notches 1,000 goal Sportnsnet.ca, 20 May 2007
- ^ Romario nets 1000th goal of career CNN.com, 20 May 2007
- ^ Romário converts penalty for 1,000th goal Sports Illustrated, 20 May 2007
- ^ Imprensa internacional destaca milésimo gol de Romário - Folha Online, 20 May 2007
- ^ Romário 1.000 goals - Globo.com 20 May 2007
- ^ Controversy on the road to 1,000, BBC News, 21 May 2007
- ^ Romario writes his own history - Daily Mail, 21 May 2007
- ^ Romário completes a famous 1,000 FIFA.COM, 21 May 2007
- ^ Romario bags 1,000th career goal Miami Herald, 21 May 2007
- ^ Romario take charge at Vasco da Gama and also as a player Goal.com - 24/10/2007
- ^ Romario admits failing drugs test. ESPNsoccernet (2007-12-05). Retrieved on 2007-12-05.
- ^ "Brazil in the 1994 World Cup" - Virtual-Brazil.com
- ^ "Brazil in the 1998 World Cup" - v-brazil.com
- ^ Romario falls short in quest of 1,000th goal HULIQ.com
- ^ ROBERTO BAGGIO'S WORLD Pro-Paul.net, 2001
- ^ Brazil legend Romario calls time on career. FourFourTwo (2008-04-15). Retrieved on 2008-04-15.
- ^ Brazil legend Romario ends career. BBC (2008-04-15). Retrieved on 2008-04-15.
 External links
- Player profile on sambafoot.com
- Romário - Video compilation of Romário's career thus far.
- YouTube Romário 1000 - Romário scores his 1000th goal on penalty