Tuesday, January 29, 2013

29 January 1966 - He Roamed Where He Wanted

On 29 January 1966, well-traveled Brazilian striker and 1994 FIFA Player of the Year Romário was born in Rio de Janeiro. Playing over the course of twenty-four years, he was a prolific goalscorer, with a career tally that--according to some estimates--topped 1,000 goals (though some discount that number, with several goals coming in youth matches and unofficial competitions).

Starting with Vasco da Gama in 1985, he played for several teams across Brazil and Europe, including PSV, Barcelona, Valencia, and multiple stints with Vasco, Flamengo, and Fluminense. In the 2000 season, during his second spell with Vasco, he scored an astonishing 65 goals in 71 appearances across all competitions.

But his Player of the Year performance came in 1994, when his 30 goals in La Liga helped Barcelona to the title. That same year, he scored five goals in the World Cup, winning the Golden Ball as Brazil took the trophy with a win over Italy in the final.

His milestone 1,000th goal came in May 2007, when, after joining Vasco for a fourth time, he scored a penalty kick in a league match against Sport Recife. FIFA recognized the accomplishment, but noted that the number was reached by Romário's "personal count."

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