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Brazil legend Romario ends career

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Romario's five goals helped Brazil lift the World Cup in 1994

Former Brazil striker Romario has announced his retirement from football at the age of 42.

"Officially I'm not playing any more. I've stopped," he said. "My time is up. Everything has been a lot of fun."

The 1994 World Player of the Year scored more than 1,000 goals, including 56 in 73 appearances for his country, and also won the 1994 World Cup.

He began his career with Brazilian side Vasco da Gama and also played for Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia.

"These last 20 years for me have been very positive," said Romario.

"To be honest, I'm stopping because I don't see myself in any shape to continue playing.

"I haven't played since November, I've put on three or four kilos since then and, at this age, it's difficult to get back to fitness."

Regarded as one of the world's finest goal poachers, Romario was renowned for his dislike of training and he added: "I'm happy because I won't have to train again, or travel or sit in team hotels."

606: DEBATE

After making his debut for Brazil in 1987 he played in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, scoring five goals in his country's success in the latter tournament in the USA.

As well as four stints with Vasco, including five games as player-coach earlier this year, he also played for Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Fluminese and abroad with Al Sadd in Qatar, Miami FC and Australian side Adelaide United.

Last May, Romario scored what he claimed was his 1,000th goal but admitted that many of these were scored in friendlies, youth and testimonial games.

His career has not been without controversy and following a game in October, he was banned for 120 days after testing positive for the banned masking agent finasteride.

He later had the ban overturned after an appeal during which he claimed to have inadvertently used the substance as part of treatment for hair loss.

Romario was sacked by Fluminese four years ago after being jeered off the field, but defied the critics who said he should hang up his boots by rejoining Vasco in 2005.

At the age of 39 he bagged 22 goals to finish as the Brazilian championship's leading goalscorer.


see also
Romario celebrates '1,000th goal'
21 May 07 |  Americas
Tim Vickery column
02 Apr 07 |  Football
Controversy on the road to 1,000
21 Mar 07 |  Americas
Romario knocks on door - again
22 Apr 02 |  Brazil


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