Romário was scoring the goals to take Brazil to the World Cup Final
In the Semi Final they faced the Swedish side that had held them to a 1-1 draw in the group stage. This time Brazil were able to beat them as Romário scored the only goal of the game with 10 minutes to go.
The final had fans rubbing their hands in anticipation. It was Brazil v Italy, two of the most successful teams in World Cup history. It also pitted the two best players of the tournament against each other, Brazil’s Romário against Roberto Baggio of Italy.
The match itself was rather disappointing. It finished 0-0 after extra time and was the first ever World Cup Final to be decided on penalties. Romário scored his penalty and Brazil won the shootout after Baggio booted the deciding kick over the bar.
Romário scored five goals in the tournament, one less than joint top scorers, Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov and Russia’s Oleg Salenko. However, he was named Golden Ball winner for being the best player of the tournament.
The Brazilian fans had waited a long time for that win. It also gave them something to cheer about after another of their sporting heroes, Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna, had died in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix a couple of months earlier. The Brazilian team dedicated their World Cup victory to Senna.
World Player of the Year
After being Barcelona’s top scorer as they won the league and Brazil’s top scorer as they won the World Cup, Romário was named FIFA World Player of the Year for 1994.
He left Bracelona in 1994 and spent most of the rest of his career playing in Brazil. He had brief spells in other countries such as Australia and Qatar but he did not have much success. He had a good season in the USA in 2006 when he scored 19 goals in 25 games for Miami FC.
In 2007, Romário scored a penalty for Vasco da Gama against Sport Recife. It was hailed as being the one thousandth goal of his career. Romário received a lot of plaudits in the Brazilian and international press for his achievement and the game had to be stopped for 20 minutes while his fans celebrated the milestone.
There is however a bit of controversy surrounding his goal tally. Not everybody recognises the achievement as many of the goals had been scored in junior games or in friendlies. At the end of his career, his official tally for competitive, senior games was an amazing 691 goals in 888 games.