Romário de Souza Faria (born 29 January 1966), known simply as Romário (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁoˈmaɾiu]), is a Brazilian politician who previously achieved worldwide fame as a professional footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, he is considered as one of the greatest players of all time.[1][2] Romário starred for Brazil in their 1994 FIFA World Cup triumph, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He came fifth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll in 1999, was elected to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002, and was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players in 2004.[3][4]

Romário Faria
Official Senate portrait of Romário, 2015
Senator for Rio de Janeiro
Assumed office
1 February 2015
Preceded byFrancisco Dornelles
Second Vice President of the Federal Senate
Assumed office
1 February 2021
PresidentRodrigo Pacheco
Preceded byIzalci Lucas
Federal Deputy from Rio de Janeiro
In office
1 February 2011  1 February 2015
Personal details
Born (1966-01-29) 29 January 1966
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Political partyPL (2021–present)
Other political
  • PP (2001–09)
  • PSB (2009–17)
  • PODE (2017–21)
Height1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
    Mônica Santoro
    (m. 1988; div. 1995)
      Danielle Favatto
      (m. 1996; div. 2001)
        Isabelle Bittencourt
        (m. 2010; div. 2012)
        ProfessionFootballer, politician
        Association football career
        Position(s) Striker
        Youth career
        1979–1980 Olaria
        1981–1985 Vasco da Gama
        Senior career*
        Years Team Apps (Gls)
        1985–1988 Vasco da Gama 141 (80)
        1988–1993 PSV Eindhoven 145 (129)
        1993–1995 Barcelona 65 (39)
        1995–1996 Flamengo 79 (68)
        1996–1997 Valencia 12 (6)
        1997 → Flamengo (loan) 36 (35)
        1998–1999 Flamengo 94 (81)
        2000–2002 Vasco da Gama 136 (131)
        2002–2004 Fluminense 75 (47)
        2003 → Al Sadd (loan) 3 (0)
        2005–2006 Vasco da Gama 54 (39)
        2006 Miami FC 26 (19)
        2006 → Adelaide United (loan) 4 (1)
        2007 Vasco da Gama 19 (15)
        2009 America Football Club 1 (0)
        Total 890 (690)
        National team
        1985 Brazil U20 11 (11)
        1988 Brazil U23 7 (8)
        1987–2005 Brazil 70 (56)
        Teams managed
        2007–2008 Vasco da Gama
        Men's Football
        Representing  Brazil
        FIFA World Cup
        Winner1994 USA
        FIFA Confederations Cup
        Winner1997 Saudi Arabia
        Copa América
        Winner1989 Brazil
        Winner1997 Bolivia
        CONCACAF Gold Cup
        1998 USA
        Olympic Games
        Runner-up1988 SeoulTeam
        South American U-20 Championship
        Winner1985 Paraguay
        Beach soccer
        FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
        2005 Brazil
        * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

        At club level, after developing his early career in Brazil, Romário moved to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 1988. During his five seasons at PSV the club became Eredivisie champions three times, and he scored a total of 165 goals in 167 games. In 1993, he moved to FC Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", forming an exceptional strike partnership with Hristo Stoichkov. He won La Liga in his first season and finished as the top goalscorer with 30 goals in 33 matches. During the second half of his career Romário played for clubs within the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He won the Brazilian league title with CR Vasco da Gama in 2000 and was a three-time top scorer in the league. At the end of his career he also played briefly in Qatar, the United States and Australia.

        Considered a master of the confined space of the penalty area, his rapid speed over short distances (aided by his low centre of gravity) took him away from defenders, and he was renowned for his trademark toe poke finish.[5][6] With 55 goals in 70 appearances, Romário is the fourth-highest goalscorer for the Brazil national team, behind Pelé, Neymar and Ronaldo.[7] He is third on the all-time list of Brazilian league's top scorers with 155 goals. He is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of football.[8]

        Romario started his political career in 2010, when he was elected deputy for the Brazilian Socialist Party. He was then elected senator in 2014. In 2017, he switched parties for Podemos, another left-wing party.

        Club career

        Early years

        From very humble origins, Romário was spotted in childhood when playing for Olaria, 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.[9]

        1988–1993 PSV Eindhoven

        Romário training with PSV in February 1989

        Shortly after the Olympics he moved to PSV Eindhoven, where he won the Eredivisie in 1989, 1991 and 1992.[9] Renowned for his ability to operate in the confined space of the penalty box, Romário scored 165 goals in 167 games in five seasons at PSV.[6]

        Driven by an unswerving belief in his abilities, Romário's laid back manner and overwhelming self-confidence would be displayed throughout his career, with Guus Hiddink, his coach at PSV, stating, "If he saw that I was a bit more nervous than usual ahead of a big game, he’d come to me and say: ‘Take it easy, coach, I’m going to score and we’re going to win'. What's incredible is that eight out of the ten times he told me that, he really did score and we really did win."[10]

        1993–1995 FC Barcelona

        Romário moved to Spain's FC Barcelona for the 1993–94 season and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", in which, along with players such as strike partner Hristo Stoichkov, midfielders José Mari Bakero, Pep Guardiola and Michael Laudrup, and prolific goalscoring defender Ronald Koeman, he helped the club win the La Liga title, while becoming the season's top goalscorer with 30 goals in 33 matches.[9] Barcelona also reached the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final, where in spite of being heavy favourites to win, they eventually lost 0–4 to Milan. The buildup to the final saw Spanish newspapers already declaring Barcelona as winners, while Cruyff told his team, "You're better than them, you're going to win".[11] With Romário and Stoichkov leading the Barcelona attack, Milan defender Paolo Maldini conceded his team were underdogs, but they were spurred on by what they perceived as arrogance from Barcelona.[11] One member of the Barcelona back room staff admitted Barcelona were complacent, "We went there to collect the cup, not to compete for it."[11]

        "It has to be Romário. You never knew what to expect with him. His technique was outstanding, and he scored goals from every possible position, most of them with his toe, funnily enough."

        Johan Cruyff when asked to name the greatest player he ever coached.[12]

        One of Romário's best performances was scoring a hat-trick in the memorable 5–0 win over Real Madrid in the El Clásico at the Camp Nou, with the spectacular opening goal seeing him drag the ball around the defender without it leaving his foot before finishing with a trademark toe-poke into the corner of the net.[5] His highlight for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League came in the two games against Manchester United where he nutmegged Peter Schmeichel to score at Old Trafford, and scored again in the 4–0 win at the Camp Nou in front of 114,000 fans.[1][13] Reflecting on the game at the Camp Nou, Manchester United captain Steve Bruce, who played in defence that night, states: "Of all the great things that happened during my career, the thing that sticks out the most is that night because we got our backsides kicked big-style. Stoichkov and Romário are still etched in my memory, especially Romário, who was arguably the best player I ever faced."[13]

        Romário was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994, after being the runner-up in 1993.[9] Although he was lauded for his performances, Romário was prone to controversy, and in 1994 he landed a left hook to Sevilla's Diego Simeone and was suspended for five games.[14] Romário left Barcelona unexpectedly in January 1995 after having a rift with coach Cruyff.[15]

        1995–1999 Flamengo and Valencia

        In 1995, Romário returned to Brazil to play for Flamengo and spent five years there excluding two short-lasting comebacks to Spain during that period.[6] During a Copa Libertadores match against an Argentine team in 1995, Romário kicked an opposition defender on the chest in retaliation for a punch on his teammate Edmundo.[16] He began the 1996–97 season with the Spanish club Valencia but after having heated arguments with then head coach Luis Aragonés he was soon loaned back to Flamengo.[17]

        Romário returned to Valencia at the beginning of 1997–98 season. With their new coach Claudio Ranieri claiming that he did not want to have any players staying in the club against their will, Romário, stating needs of good preparation for the World Cup in France, left Valencia for good after playing just six league matches in the season. Once again he returned to Flamengo.[18]

        2000–2005 Vasco and Fluminense

        Romário rejoined Vasco da Gama in 2000 and linked up again with fellow international striker Edmundo. Forming a prolific partnership, the two forwards led Vasco to the final of the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship, with Romário finishing as joint-top goalscorer with three goals. The most notable performance from the pair was a 3–1 defeat of European champions Manchester United at the Estádio do Maracanã, where Romário scored twice in three first-half minutes and Edmundo added a third before half time.[19] Having previously got on well together at Flamengo, the volatile Edmundo became jealous of Romário's privileges, stating the club was "a court, Romário the prince and [club chairman] Eurico Mirando the king".[16] After Vasco's victory a few days later, Romário replied: "Now the court is happy: the king, the prince and the fool [Edmundo]".[16]

        At 34 years of age, Romário had one of the best seasons in his career while winning the Copa Mercosur and the Brazilian league title with Vasco. Romário's performance was key in the Mercosur final where Vasco faced Brazilian rivals Palmeiras from São Paulo. After splitting the first two matches, a decisive third took place in São Paulo. Palmeiras took a 3–0 lead before half-time. In the second half however, Vasco scored four goals including Romário's winner in the stoppage time, which completed his hat-trick.[20] Romário received both the South American and Brazilian Footballer of the Year awards. He finished both the 2000 and 2001 seasons as the Brazilian league's top goalscorer.[21]

        From 2002 until 2004, he played for Fluminense. In February 2003, Romário signed a lucrative three-month contract in Qatar with a club Al Sadd but after a disappointing stint without scoring a goal he returned to Fluminense.[22] On 21 October 2004 he was fired from the club after a conflict with the coach. He also attacked a fan who had thrown six live chickens at him during training.[14] Romário then went back once again to play for the team he started at, Vasco da Gama. In 2005, at 39 years of age, Romário scored 22 goals in the Brazilian Championship, making him the league's top goalscorer for the third time.[9]

        Late career

        In the beginning of 2006 Romário joined Miami FC along with former 1994 FIFA World Cup teammate Zinho. He helped Miami FC reach their first ever USL-1 Playoffs, scoring 19 league goals in 25 appearances for the team.

        Newly promoted Campeonato Mineiro side Tupi announced a short-term deal with Romário to play for the Juiz de Fora team in the Taça Minas. However, the Brazilian Football Confederation prohibited the transfer, claiming the contract was signed after the closing of the international transfer window. Romário did not make his debut for the club, but took part in practice sessions.[23][24]

        Seen as a publicity 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 for a 5-game guest stint. He played his first match for Adelaide United FC on 25 November 2006 against the Central Coast Mariners FC. During his final game on 15 December 2006 he finally scored a goal for Adelaide to end what many considered to be a disappointing spell with the club.[25] In January 2007 he signed a new deal with Vasco da Gama.[26]

        Thousandth goal

        On 20 May 2007, Romário scored his 1000th goal, a penalty kick against Sport Recife, playing for Vasco da Gama. The Brazilian press claimed him as one of few players in professional football history to achieve this, like Pelé, Puskás, Friedenreich and Binder.[27] 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.[28][29][30][31] There is some controversy over the validity of the 1000 goals, because the number is somewhat inaccurate and Romário's research team also counted his goals in junior, friendly and non-official games.[32]

        FIFA congratulated Romário on his milestone goal[33] but stated he is still officially on 929 goals, as 77 came in youth football, with others being scored in unofficial friendly matches.[34] RSSSF estimated his career tally to be 968 goals in 1188 games.[8] In 2008, Romário released a DVD with the best goals of his career totaling 900 goals in the disc.[35] Following the landmark goal, Vasco da Gama unveiled a statue of Romário at the Estádio São Januário.[36]

        Player/Manager of Vasco da Gama

        On 24 October 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 6 February 2008 Romário objected to Miranda's intervention in team selection, so was dismissed, but remained contracted to Vasco as a player.

        On 4 December 2007, Romário announced he had tested positive for finasteride (aka Propecia) after a match against Palmeiras on 28 October. He claims it was in an anti-baldness treatment; however, the drug is banned as it is a masking agent for anabolic steroids.[37]

        Retirement and comeback

        On 5 February 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 FIFA Confederations Cup and helping with the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, on 27 March, Romário denied that he had retired.

        Romário announced on 15 April 2008 at his DVD launch that he would retire from the game of football.[38][39] He cited his weight as a major factor in his decision to retire from the game. Romário played for many clubs that spanned across five 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. My time is up. Everything has been a lot of fun.[40]

        In August 2009, Romário announced that he would come out of retirement to play for America from Rio de Janeiro. He stated that he would play for the club to fulfill his father's wishes.[41] On 25 November 2009, Romário made his comeback. He came on during the 68th minute of the match between America and Artsul, replacing Adriano. Although he did not score, America won 2–0, which helped the club to win the title of the Second Division of the Carioca Championship.

        International career

        Romário's No.11 Brazil shirt

        As a member of the Brazilian national team, Romário won the silver Olympic medal in Seoul in 1988, finishing as the top-goalscorer with seven goals in six matches.[10] He attained the status of national hero at the 1989 Copa América as he scored the only goal in the final against Uruguay to end Brazil's long trophy drought in front of their own fans at the Maracanã.[10] He was part of the Brazilian squad in the World Cups of 1990 and 1994. He scored 71 goals in 85 international matches (including senior and Olympic teams), being the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Brazilian team.

        1990 World Cup

        Romário was one of the most talked about stars leading up to the 1990 World Cup in Italy, but picked up a serious injury three months before the big kick-off.[10] Despite doing everything to recover in time and being rewarded with a spot in the squad, his lack of fitness meant he was restricted to playing only 66 minutes in one match, against Scotland.[10] Brazil were eliminated in round of 16 by their rival side Argentina.[42]

        1994 World Cup

        In 1992, during Romário's successful season at PSV Eindhoven, he was called up to the national team for a friendly match against Germany on 16 December 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.[43]

        Romário and his 1994 teammate Dunga (far left), with Brazil president Lula, hold the World Cup trophy

        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. His exclusion provoked a wave of outrage, with journalists and fans calling for his return to the team.[10] Brazil had to beat or tie against Uruguay at the Maracanã Stadium to finish first of their group. Before the match against Uruguay, Parreira gave up and called Romário. Back in his beloved number 11 jersey, prior to the game Romário stated: "I already know what is going to happen: I'm going to finish Uruguay".[44] Brazil won 2–0, with Romário scoring both goals, and qualified for the World Cup. Parreira commented afterwards: "God sent Romário to the Maracanã".[44]

        "They are both skillful players, outstanding players. They are matadors, killers inside the penalty area."

        —Brazil coach at USA '94 Carlos Alberto Parreira on Romário and Bebeto.[9]

        At the 1994 World Cup held in the United States, Romário partnered Bebeto in attack to lead his country to a record fourth World Cup title.[9] Romário scored five goals in the tournament: one in each of the three first round matches, against Russia, Cameroon, and a trademark toe-poke finish against Sweden.[45][46] He scored one against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals; and the game-winning header against Sweden in the semifinals.[46]

        Romário also assisted Bebeto in the only goal of the match against the United States in San Francisco for the round of 16 elimination match. Although he did not get on the scoresheet in the final in Los Angeles against Italy, a game played in searing heat which ended as a goalless draw, he converted Brazil's second penalty in the shoot-out, which ended in a 3–2 win for Brazil.[9] Romário won the World Cup Golden Ball as the most valuable player of the tournament, and was named in the World Cup All-Star Team.[9] Romário is also the last player to have won the Golden Ball and the World Cup in the same tournament.[9]

        Described by Jere Longman of The New York Times as "short on humility, long on talent", Romário demanded a window seat on the team plane and refused to sit next to Bebeto.[47] He did however join Bebeto in one of the most iconic images of the tournament. After Bebeto scored against the Netherlands in Dallas, his goal celebration generated headlines around the world when he began rocking an imaginary baby – his wife had given birth to their third child just days before – with Romário (and Mazinho) then joining Bebeto in the rocking motion.[48]

        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. The first title which the strikers won while playing together in the front line, was the 1997 Copa América in Bolivia where they scored a total of eight goals. Later on in December 1997 they each scored a hat-trick in a 6–0 win against Australia in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup final.[49] Romário finished the tournament as the top-goalscorer with seven goals while Ronaldo added four. Just in 1997 the duo scored an impressive total of 34 international goals with 19 coming from Romário. The Ro-Ro attack was expected to headline the upcoming World Cup in France.

        1998 and 2002 World Cup absence

        Romário (left) in training with Brazil

        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.[50] Just after the decision was announced, Romário held a press conference where he broke down in tears while saying that "this is very sad for me, a big disappointment. This is a very difficult moment in my life".[51] Brazil lost the World Cup final against hosts France.[52][53]

        Prior to the 2002 World Cup, Romário, aged 36, was in considerably good form while playing for Vasco da Gama, but once again he was left out of the national squad by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari due to indiscipline. The final incident happened when he pulled out of the Brazil squad for the 2001 Copa América in Colombia. He told Scolari that he was having an eye operation, but played friendlies for club side Vasco da Gama in Mexico and went on holiday instead.[54] Romário gave a televised news conference in which he made his case and apologised, bursting into tears three times, though he said he could not remember doing or saying anything against the manager and the players.[55] The BBC's South American football correspondent, Tim Vickery, called Romário's news conference "bizarre" and reported that there were "increasingly credible rumours" that "senior players asked Scolari not to recall the veteran striker".[55] Scolari was unmoved and did not pick him, saying before his squad announcement that Romário's exclusion was "technical and tactical". After the announcement, he said that it was as a result of Romário's withdrawing from the Copa América: "People forget the details, but I do not. I almost got fired from the national team after [the Copa América]." (Brazil had been beaten in the quarter-finals by Honduras.)[54] Without Romário, Brazil went on to win the World Cup for the fifth time.[56][57]

        Last game for Brazil

        Romário at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland in 2007 at the announcement of Brazil being named hosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

        On 27 April 2005, Romário played his last game with the Brazilian national team in a friendly and celebratory match in São Paulo.[58] He wore the captain's armband and scored the second goal in Brazil's 3–0 win against Guatemala.[58] Following the end of his playing career with Brazil, Romário successfully campaigned for Brazil to be awarded host status for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[59]

        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 Beach, USA; and was runner-up in the 2011 Footvolley World Championship in Rio de Janeiro. He also plays Beach soccer and represented Brazil (won the bronze medal) at the 2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.[60]

        Style of play and recognition

        "We're talking of one of the great centre-forwards. He's a master of the reduced space of the penalty area. A square metre for him is like an acre. Why? Low centre of gravity, powerful thighs so he can explode, wonderful finishing ability. Both because he's very proficient technically, but also because he's so cold in front of goal."

        — Tim Vickery, BBC football correspondent.[6]

        Romário is regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific strikers of all time.[6][61][62][63][64] His coach at Barcelona, Johan Cruyff, defined him as a "genius of the goal area", as well as the greatest player he ever coached.[12][65] His Brazilian compatriot Ronaldo, who played with him in his early career, reflected, "Romário was the most decisive player who I played with, he was a great goal scorer, finisher, skillful, opportunist. I think I learnt all of that from him".[66] Italian playmaker Roberto Baggio said "Romário is one of the greatest players of all time. He is a master of art in the penalty area,"[67] a view echoed by Paolo Maldini with, "Romário was incredible in the penalty area."[68] Diego Maradona on who was the best player he ever saw play, "It is between Romário and Van Basten".[69] Romário wore the number 11 shirt for most of his club and international career, which inspired Neymar's number at Santos (he also went on to wear number 11 for Barcelona).[70]

        Romário on the cover of the July 1994 issue of El Gráfico

        Along with two other FIFA World Player of the Year recipients, Brazilian compatriot Ronaldo and Liberian star George Weah, Romário was seen as a new breed of striker in the 1990s who would also operate outside the penalty area before running with the ball towards goal, with former France striker Thierry Henry stating; "Ronaldo together with Romário and George Weah, reinvented the centre-forward position. They were the first to drop from the penalty box to pick up the ball in midfield, switch to the flanks, attract and disorientate the central defenders with their runs, their accelerations, their dribbling."[71] Nicknamed Baixinho (Portuguese for "The Little One," or "Shorty") Romário was an extremely agile player, who possessed excellent balance on the ball, and significant strength in spite of his small stature, which made him particularly effective in tight spaces in the penalty area, and allowed him to retain possession of the ball when put under pressure by larger players; his low centre of gravity and quick bursts of acceleration enabled him to outrun opponents over short distances and beat defenders with sudden turns or changes of pace, while his technique and finishing ability saw him score a wide variety of numerous goals, including goals from powerful and accurate first-time strikes – notably through his trademark toe-pokes with little back-lift – or even from chipped shots.[5][72] His ball control and dribbling skills saw him use elaborate feints, such as: dragging the ball around a defender without it leaving his foot, and the flip flap.[73][74][75]

        While he could operate outside the penalty area in making runs from deep, Romário built a reputation as an extremely opportunistic "goal-poacher" inside the penalty area.[76][77][78] He was known for his intelligence, offensive movement, and positional sense, as well as his ability to find space in the area and lose his markers by making late runs.[73] In addition to his goalscoring, he was also known for his speed, as well as his creativity and vision, which gave him the ability to link-up with and provide assists for teammates.[61][64][78][79] This enabled him to form many notable attacking partnerships with other prolific, technically gifted forwards, such as Stoichkov (at Barcelona), Edmundo (at Vasco da Gama), Euller (Vasco da Gama) and Bebeto and Ronaldo (with Brazil).[80][81][82] In spite of his talent, however, Romário was also criticised for being too outspoken, and for his poor work rate throughout his career, in particular for his vocal dislike of training.[6][64][76] Regarding his work-rate and lifestyle off the pitch, Rodrigo Orihuela of The Guardian stated in 2007: "Romário has never been much of a committed athlete and has always had a rather laissez-faire approach to training. 'The night was always my friend. When I go out, I am happy and when I am happy I score goals', he once summarised."[16]

        Media and sponsorship

        Romário has appeared in commercials for the sportswear company Nike.[83] In 1998, he starred in a Nike commercial set in an airport with a number of stars from the Brazil national team, including Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.[83] Romário features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was included in the FIFA 14 Ultimate Team Legends.[84]

        Political career

        Romário in the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil on 6 May 2010

        In the 2010 general election, Romário was elected to the Chamber of Deputies on the Brazilian Socialist Party ticket. He was the sixth most voted candidate for deputy in Rio de Janeiro.[85][86]

        He pushed his political agenda against the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, denouncing the event as immersed in corruption and money laundering.[87][88] He also expressed disagreement with Sean Kiley, Ricardo Teixeira, Jérôme Valcke and Sepp Blatter.[89] He is one of various figures claiming that the holding of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was "stolen" from England and sold to Russia in a part of 2011 scandal by FIFA.[90]

        On 19 February 2014, Romário announced that he would run for the Brazilian senate in the 2014 general election,[91] and the decision was officially confirmed in June.[92] On 5 October, Romario was elected to the Senate with the most votes received ever by a candidate representing the state of Rio de Janeiro.

        In June 2017, Romário left the PSB and joined Podemos, becoming president of the party in the State of Rio de Janeiro.[93] In March 2018, Romário announced he is to run for governor of Rio de Janeiro in the Brazilian general election and would stand as a candidate for the centrist Podemos party.[94] Romário finished in fourth place, with 8.6% of valid votes.[95]

        Personal life

        His son, Romarinho, also played for CR Vasco da Gama in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.[96]

        Career statistics


        Club statistics;[97]

        Season Club League League Regional league Cup Continental Other[nb 1] Total
        1985 Vasco da Gama Série A 702111002811
        1986 23925204829
        1987 17824164124
        1988 0024162416
        Total 4717946314180
        1988–89 PSV Eindhoven Eredivisie 24195422313426
        1989–90 202332462731
        1990–91 252535203030
        1991–92 159102010199
        1992–93 26223397103932
        Total 110981514191551149128
        1993–94 Barcelona La Liga 333020102204732
        1994–95 1340053187
        Total 463420155206539
        1995 Flamengo Série A 168212651424637
        1996 3019265100643331
        Total 198405210242647968
        1996–97 Valencia La Liga 54000054
        1997–98 611172
        Total 1151100126
        1997 Flamengo Série A 4318188700673635
        1998 201411104634214035
        1999 191215167778635446
        Total 43294444192010121411130116
        2000 Vasco da Gama Série A 2820171921141410127166
        2001 18216110095633940
        2002 00487514132526
        Total 464127389618163531135132
        2002 Fluminense Série A 261600002616
        2003 21134500002518
        2004 13596222413
        Total 60341311227547
        2002–03 Al-Sadd (loan) Qatar Stars League 300030
        Total 3030
        2005 Vasco da Gama Série A 3022107314330
        2006 001061300119
        Total 30222013445439
        2006Miami FC USL 1st 2519102619
        2006–07Adelaide A-League 410041
        2007 Vasco da Gama Série A 6391032101915
        2009 América-RJ Campeonato Carioca Série B1 00100010

        International statistics

        Appearances and goals by year
        National teamYearAppsGoals
        Brazil[98] 198764

        International goals

        Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first.[98]
        International goals by number, date, venue, opponent, score, result and competition
        # Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
        1 28 May 1987 Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki  Finland 1–1 3–2 Friendly [99]
        2 1 June 1987 Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan  Israel 1–0 4–0 [100]
        3 3–0
        4 28 June 1987 Estadio Olímpico Chateau Carreras, Córdoba  Venezuela 5–0 5–0 1987 Copa América
        5 7 July 1988 Olympic Park Stadium, Melbourne  Australia 1–0 1–0 Australia Bicentenary Gold Cup [101]
        6 17 July 1988 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 1–0 2–0 [102]
        7 12 July 1989 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro  Argentina 2–0 2–0 1989 Copa América
        8 14 July 1989  Paraguay 3–0 3–0 [103]
        9 16 July 1989  Uruguay 1–0 1–0 [104]
        10 30 July 1989 Estadio Brígido Iriarte, Caracas  Venezuela 2-0 4–0 1990 World Cup qualifier [105]
        11 19 September 1993 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro  Uruguay 1–0 2–0 1994 World Cup qualifier [106]
        12 2–0
        13 5 June 1994 Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton  Canada 1–0 1–1 Friendly [107]
        14 8 June 1994 Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego  Honduras 1–0 8–2 [108]
        15 2–0
        16 5–1
        17 12 June 1994 Bulldog Stadium, Fresno  El Salvador 1–0 4–0 [109]
        18 20 June 1994 Stanford Stadium, Stanford  Russia 1–0 2–0 1994 World Cup Group B [110]
        19 24 June 1994  Cameroon 1–0 3–0 [111]
        20 28 June 1994 Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac  Sweden 1–1 1–1 [112]
        21 9 July 1994 Cotton Bowl, Dallas  Netherlands 1–0 3–2 1994 World Cup Quarter-final [113]
        22 13 July 1994 Rose Bowl, Pasadena  Sweden 1–0 1–0 1994 World Cup Semi-final [114]
        23 2 April 1997 Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília  Chile 1–0 4–0 Friendly [115]
        24 3–0
        25 30 April 1997 Orange Bowl, Miami  Mexico 2–0 4–0 [116]
        26 3–0
        27 4–0
        28 31 May 1997 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Norway 1–1 2–4 [117]
        29 8 June 1997 Stade de Gerland, Lyon  Italy 3–3 3–3 Tournoi de France [118]
        30 10 June 1997 Parc des Princes, Paris  England 1–0 1–0 [119]
        31 13 June 1997 Estadio Ramón Aguilera, Santa Cruz  Costa Rica 5–0 5–0 1997 Copa América [120]
        32 26 June 1997  Peru 3–0 7–0 [121]
        33 5–0
        34 7 December 1997 Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg  South Africa 1–0 2–1 Friendly [122]
        35 12 December 1997 King Fahd II Stadium, Riyadh  Saudi Arabia 2–0 3–0 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup [123]
        36 3–0
        37 16 December 1997  Mexico 1–0 3–2 [124]
        38 19 December 1997  Czech Republic 1–0 2–0 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup Semi-final [125]
        39 21 December 1997  Australia 3–0 6–0 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup Final [126]
        40 4–0
        41 6–0
        42 5 February 1998 Orange Bowl, Miami  Guatemala 1–1 1–1 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup [127]
        43 8 February 1998 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles  El Salvador 2–0 4–0 [128]
        44 15 February 1998  Jamaica 1–0 1–0 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup Third place match [129]
        45 3 September 2000 Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro  Bolivia 1–0 5–0 2002 World Cup qualifier [130]
        46 3–0
        47 4–0
        48 8 October 2000 Estadio Jose Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo  Venezuela 3–0 6–0 [131]
        49 4–0
        50 5–0
        51 6–0
        52 7 March 2001 Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara  Mexico 2–2 3–3 Friendly [132]
        53 3–3
        54 25 April 2001 Estádio do Morumbi, São Paulo  Peru 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualifier [133]
        55 27 April 2005 Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo  Guatemala 2–0 3–0 Friendly [134]



        1. Includes UEFA Super Cup (1988), Intercontinental Cup (1988), Dutch Super Cup (1991, 1992), Supercopa de España (1993), FIFA Club World Cup (2000).


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        Federal Senate
        Preceded by
        Izalci Lucas
        Second Vice President of the Federal Senate
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