Romario – Brazil vs Uruguay – 1993

24 09 2010

Goals … And The Stories Behind Them …

What were the most important goals of Romario’s career? Any answer to that question would appear foolish if it looked past the events of the summer of 1994. Romario, this true genius of the penalty area, won Brazil their first World Cup for 24 years. The key goal? Maybe it was his opener in that classic Quarter Final against the Dutch. Or the late winner in the Semi Final versus Sweden. If you deign to include penalty shoot-out goals it was surely his inch perfect strike in the Final itself…

However, less than a year earlier there was the alarming possiblity that none of this would be possible. Romario had played no part in Brazil’s qualifying campaign after being excluded by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. The striker had expressed dissatisfaction at being left on the bench after flying all the way from Europe to play. In his absence, Brazil had suffered the ignominy of a first ever World Cup qualifying defeat – at the hands of Bolivia.

Results improved but, going into the final qualifying game against Uruguay in September 1993, the most famous footballing nation of them all was in serious danger of failing to qualify for the World Cup and missing out on the greatest show on earth for the first time ever.  

The demand for Romario’s inclusion grew.  Former hero Careca had played what turned out to be his final game for the Selecao that August and, while Muller & Bebeto were fine players in their own right, the public wanted a superstar. Romario clearly fit the bill. He had left PSV in the summer to join Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona ‘Dream Team’ and had already won the fans over in Catalonia.

With so much at stake, Parreira was forced to relent.

The Maracana in Rio was packed. The stage was set for a special Romario performance and he didn’t disappoint. On the video below you can see and hear the cheers that greeted his touch that day. His extraordinary skill and turn of pace as he broke through to hit the crossbar. A penalty turned down in the first half. Eventually, however, the No.11 was to find a way through.

The first, a remarkable leap from the man called O Baixano (‘Shorty’) to head home a Bebeto cross. The second, a trademark Romario one-on-one. He rounded keepers, he chipped them, he put the ball through their legs. This time he feigned one way before knocking the ball the other. Changing his stride in an instant he strode past the keeper to slot home.

Henceforth, Parreira was to indulge his mercurial genius of a forward, much as Sir Bobby Robson had learned to do at PSV. It was to lead Brazil all the way to winning the World Cup the following year.

As for Romario, his career can be divided into many parts. However, in terms of goalscoring, his international career can probably be seen in two spells – before Uruguay, and after Uruguay. Up until this point his record stood at 27 caps, 10 goals. From then on, it was a staggering 43 caps, 45 goals. A legend was born.

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One response

28 09 2010
fantasy soccer game

Unbeliveable soccer carier.He changed most of things.

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