Footballers often learn valuable lessons in the field. They learn to strategize, reserve, and spend their resources, like energy, whenever necessary. This is much like the political world, where politicians need to plan their every step to success. Because of this footballers make great politicians. Today we have brought you the story of a man who played football for over 20 years and then became one of the successful political figures of Brazil. The name of this story is Romario Biography.
We have already talked about another footballer who turned to politics after his football career, so, make sure to check his biography also, as you may find it interesting to read.
Exploring Romario Biography
Without further ado let us hop into the Romario Biography article and accompany him throughout his journey to the new heights of his life.
Before we get to the career of this man, here are Romario stats in a compact view.
- Romario Real Name: Romário de Souza Faria
- Nickname: Romario
- Profession: Politician, Former Footballer
- Height: 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
- Eye Color: Dark Brown
- Hair Color: Black
- Weight: 72Kg
Date of Birth and Personal Info
- Date of Birth: 29 January 1966
- Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Position: Striker
- Professional Debut: 1985
- Jersey Number: 11
With his football stats exposed, we should continue our path to the next section of Romario Biography.
Romario Early Life
Little is known about the legend’s early days. That is why this part of Romario Biography will be compact. Romário was discovered as a child while playing for Olaria, a minor club in a Rio de Janeiro district. He was assigned to Vasco da Gama’s junior team, where he won two state league titles (1987, 1988) and received his first national team call-ups. Romário rose to prominence after scoring the most goals in the 1988 Olympic football tournament.
Romário’s journey included stints at clubs like Vasco da Gama, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, and Flamengo, where he secured numerous titles. He played a pivotal role in Brazil’s 1994 World Cup triumph and claimed Copa América victories in 1989 and 1997.
His unique playing style redefined the striker’s role, combining agility, balance, and creativity to score remarkable goals. Romário formed impactful partnerships with talented forwards, both domestically and internationally.
The football fraternity lauds him, with peers like Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona acknowledging his genius. Post-retirement, Romário ventured into politics as a senator in Brazil, adding to his multifaceted legacy.
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He joined PSV Eindhoven shortly after the Olympics and went on to win the Eredivisie in 1989, 1991, and 1992. He scored an incredible 165 goals in 167 games during his stint there.
After joining FC Barcelona in 1993, he became a member of Johan Cruyff’s “Dream Team.” In the 1993-94 season, he was instrumental in Barcelona’s La Liga victory, finishing as the leading scorer with 30 goals. Despite reaching the UEFA Champions League final in 1994, Barcelona was defeated 0-4 by Milan due to arrogance.
Romário’s career was littered with great highlights, such as a spectacular hat-trick against Real Madrid and impressive goals against Manchester United. Cruyff praised him, saying he was one of the best players he had ever coached.
Romário was voted FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994, but his career was hampered by problems, including a ban for a confrontation with an opponent.
He continued his career with clubs like Flamengo, Valencia, and Vasco da Gama. During this time, he had more success, winning titles such as the Copa Mercosur and the Brazilian League. He was a constant top goal scorer, winning the award in both 2000 and 2001.
His career took him back to Fluminense and Vasco do Gama. Even at the age of 39, he was still a formidable force, winning the top goalscorer award in the Brazilian Championship in 2005.
Later Stages of His Career
Romário joined Miami FC in early 2006, helping them reach their first-ever USL-1 Playoffs with 19 goals in 25 games. He briefly pondered playing for Tupi in the Campeonato Mineiro, but owing to time concerns, he was unable to transfer.
In November 2006, Romário signed a 5-game guest contract with Adelaide United in the Australian A-League. Before returning to Vasco da Gama in January 2007, he scored his only goal for the club in December.
In May 2007, he scored his 1000th career goal while playing for Vasco do Gama, making quite a stir in the media. However, questions about the authenticity of this figure surfaced, with FIFA recognizing 929 official goals.
In 2007, Romário briefly served as a player/manager at Vasco da Gama. He announced his retirement from both playing and coaching in February 2008 but then reversed his decision. He eventually retired in April 2008 owing to weight concerns.
Romário came out of retirement short in August 2009 to play for America in Rio de Janeiro, honoring his late father’s desires. In November 2009, he played in a match that helped America win the Carioca Championship Second Division title.
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He won a silver medal and was the top goalscorer in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, scoring seven goals in six games. Romário became a national hero during the 1989 Copa América after scoring the game-winning goal against Uruguay in the final, breaking Brazil’s title drought.
He took part in the World Cups in 1990 and 1994. Despite injury worries, he was named to the 1990 squad, albeit he only played a few minutes owing to fitness issues. In the 1994 World Cup, he teamed up with Bebeto in attack and scored five goals, helping Brazil win its fourth World Cup. Romário was named to the All-Star Team and received the Golden Ball as the tournament’s most valuable player.
Let’s talk about Ro-Ro duo in this section of Romario Biography. His connection with Ronaldo in the Ro-Ro duo was powerful, as seen by their Copa América victory in 1997, in which they scored a total of eight goals. Despite his outstanding form, he was left out of the 1998 World Cup squad due to injury, and he missed the 2002 World Cup owing to indiscipline.
Romário made his final appearance for Brazil in 2005, wearing the captain’s armband and scoring a goal against Guatemala. He successfully lobbied for Brazil to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup after retiring.
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This is where Romario Biography takes a turn. During the 2010 general election, Romário was elected to the Brazilian Socialist Party’s Chamber of Deputies. His popularity was clear, as he finished sixth among Rio de Janeiro’s deputy candidates in votes.
In this capacity, Romário was outspoken in his criticism of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, expressing worries about corruption and money laundering. He openly disagreed with Sean Kiley, Ricardo Teixeira, Jérôme Valcke, and Sepp Blatter, among others. He also joined others in saying that Russia’s selection for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was tied to a FIFA controversy in 2011, implying that it was “stolen” from England.
Romário launched his campaign for the Brazilian Senate in February 2014 and was elected to represent Rio de Janeiro with a record number of votes in October of the same year.
Following that, in 2017, he left PSB to join Podemos, becoming the party’s president in Rio de Janeiro. He announced his desire to run for governor of Rio de Janeiro in the 2018 Brazilian general election on behalf of the centrist Podemos party. He did, however, finish fourth with 8.6% of legitimate votes.
Romário changed parties again in April 2021, joining the Liberal Party. Later that same month, he officially backed President Jair Bolsonaro while criticizing the former administration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
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Romario’s Playing Style
Romário was able to travel outside the penalty area, starting runs from deeper positions. Despite this, he developed a reputation as a tremendously opportunistic “goal-poacher” in the penalty box. His timing and positioning skills helped him to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the area. He displayed intelligence, deft offensive movement, and an acute understanding of location. His specialty was finding wide spaces and avoiding defenders with well-timed late dashes.
His abilities extended beyond goal-scoring. Romário was praised for his pace, ingenuity, and imaginative passing, which allowed him to form alliances with technically gifted forwards. Stoichkov (during his time at Barcelona), Edmundo and Euller (at Vasco da Gama), and Bebeto and Ronaldo (with the Brazilian national team) were all notable combinations.
Despite his great abilities, Romário was chastised for his outspoken personality and a lack of focus on the field. Throughout his career, his dislike of training was well-documented, earning him both praise and criticism. In 2007, The Guardian’s Rodrigo Orihuela wrote about Romário’s work ethic and off-field lifestyle, saying, “Romário has never been one to fully embrace the life of an athlete and has maintained a rather carefree attitude towards training.” He once stated bluntly, “The night was always my friend.” I am pleased when I go out, and when I am happy, I score goals.”
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In Romario Biography, you see that he is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific strikers in football history. Johan Cruyff, his Barcelona coach, praised him as a “genius of the goal area” and the greatest player he had ever coached. Ronaldo credited Romário, his Brazilian compatriot and early colleague, with teaching him decisiveness, finishing prowess, and opportunism. Roberto Baggio and Paolo Maldini praised his skill in the penalty area, and even Diego Maradona praised him, naming him alongside Van Basten as one of the best players he had ever seen.
Romário’s legacy extended to his legendary number 11 jersey, which inspired players like Neymar at Santos and Barcelona. Romário exemplified a new generation of strikers in the 1990s, along with fellow FIFA World Player of the Year recipients Ronaldo and George Weah, who mixed center attacking responsibilities with midfield contributions. Thierry Henry complimented these three for redefining the striker position by dropping deep to orchestrate plays, confuse defenders with their dashes, and demonstrate their dribbling abilities.
Romário surpassed physical restrictions and was dubbed “Baixinho” (The Little One) owing to his modest stature. His amazing agility, great balance, and surprising strength enabled him to thrive in restricted quarters, particularly in the penalty area. He eluded opponents over short distances and wowed with fast spins and changes of pace, thanks to his low center of gravity and bursts of speed. His goal-scoring arsenal included powerful toe-pokes with little wind-up and well-placed chipped shots. Romário’s ball control and dribbling finesse allowed him to do complicated feints, such as pulling the ball around a defender or completing the flip-flap.
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Romário reinvented the role of the striker, demonstrating that size was not an impediment in football. He demonstrated that brains, technique, and dedication could triumph over physical stature despite being only 5’6″. His ability to maneuver in tight places, generate opportunities, and capitalize on opportunities transformed the art of goal-scoring.
His collaborations with other players such as Bebeto and Ronaldo, both at club and international levels, demonstrated his adaptability and selflessness. Romário was more than just a scorer; he was a team player who inspired his teammates.
His accomplishments and trophies highlight his greatness throughout his career, but possibly his most notable success was leading Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994. His efforts in that tournament earned him the renowned FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, which symbolized his effect beyond the goal-scoring statistics.
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Romário’s influence at Vasco da Gama was apparent, as he helped them win the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A in 2000, the Campeonato Carioca in 1987 and 1988, and the Copa Mercosur in 2000. During his time with PSV Eindhoven, he won the Eredivisie in 1988-89, 1990-91, and 1991-92, as well as the KNVB Cup in 1988-89 and 1989-90. In 1992, he won the Dutch Super Cup.
Romário’s time at Barcelona resulted in a La Liga title in 1993-94, as well as a Supercopa de Espana success in 1994. He made an even bigger impact at Flamengo, winning the Campeonato Carioca in 1996 and 1999, as well as the Copa Mercosur in 1999. Notably, during his stint at Al-Sadd in Qatar, he won the Qatar Crown Prince Cup in 2003.
Romário’s legacy shines brightly on the international scene. He was essential in Brazil’s FIFA World Cup victory in 1994, and his contributions were critical in the Copa América titles in 1989 and 1997. He also played a key role in Brazil’s FIFA Confederations Cup victory in 1997.
Romário’s personal achievements are similarly impressive, demonstrating his exceptional talent and steady performance. Among his many honors, he was named top scorer in the U-20 South American Championship in 1985, the renowned FIFA World Player of the Year title in 1994, and the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup the same year. His achievements include league and cup top scorer championships in the Campeonato Carioca, Dutch League, Dutch Cup, and Brazilian League. He received various trophies, including the Onze de Bronze, the Pichichi Trophy, the Onze d’Or, and the South American Footballer of the Year.
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Romario Outside Professional Life
For the last part of Romario Biography, we will take you out of the field where we will meet Romario in his personal space.
Romário has been a footvolley aficionado since the 1990s, participating in numerous events with pals. He won the VIP Footvolley.net Open in Miami Beach, USA, in 2006, and finished second in the 2011 Footvolley World Championship in Rio de Janeiro. He also plays beach soccer and represented Brazil at the 2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, where he won a bronze medal.
Romarinho, his son, also played for Vasco da Gama in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. He made two substitute appearances for Vasco da Gama in the 2015 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A but spent the majority of his career in Brazil’s lesser leagues.
Romário has been in ads for the athletic clothing business Nike. In 1998, he appeared in a Nike commercial set in an airport among other Brazilian national team stars, including Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. Romário appears in EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise, most recently in FIFA 14 Ultimate Team Legends.
That was everything about Romario. Hope you enjoyed it!