Marriages, World Cup Tragedy, Politics: What Really Happened to Brazilian Football Star Romario?

Marriages, World Cup Tragedy, Politics: What Really Happened to Brazilian Football Star Romario?

Babajide Orevba
March 14, 2024 at 7:59 AM
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  • Romario remains one of the greatest strikers who played the game of football
  • The Brazilian legend left an indelible footprint with his goal-scoring abilities
  • In 2017, he was pictured looking extremely gaunt, with fans raising concerns

One of the greatest strikers of all time, Brazilian legend Romario, was once pictured worryingly thin, raising concerns among football fans.

Many have continued to ask questions, wondering what happened to the lethal striker who left an indelible footprint in the world of football.

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Brazilian and Barcelona legend, Romario, is arguably one of the greatest strikers of all time. Photo Credit: Bob Daemmrich.
Source: Getty Images

Nicknamed Baixinho (the little one), the 1994 FIFA World Cup winner made headlines on and off the field during his career.

Who is Romario?

Born on January 29, 1966, Romario started his career at local club, Vasco da Gama, with his performances earning him a Brazilian national team call-up.

He announced himself on the world stage during the Summer Olympics in 1988 where he finished as top scorer, helping Brazil to finish as silver medalists.

Later that year, he moved to Europe to join Dutch top flight club, PSV Eindhoven, where he scored 98 league goals in 110 matches.

He then joined Barcelona and helped the Catalan giants to the La Liga title during the 1993/94 season.

One of Romario's most memorable moments at Barcelona came against rivals, Real Madrid, when he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Camp Nou. In two seasons, he netted 39 goals in 65 matches for the Spanish giants.

He also played for several other top clubs including Valencia, Fluminense, Miami FC, Adelaide United, American R-J, and Al-Sadd.

After a disappointing 1990 FIFA World Cup with limited playing time, Romario was one of Brazil's star performers at the 1994 edition.

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Romario scored five goals at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA. Photo credit: Mark Leech.
Source: Getty Images

He helped the Samba Boys win the World Cup that year, scoring five goals.

Romario was left out of Brazil's team at the 1998 World Cup due to injury and was also left out of the squad that won the Mundial in 2002 after being dropped by Filipe Scolari.

Romario and controversies

On the club front, Romario was handed a five-match ban during his time in Spain after punching Sevilla's Diego Simeone in the face, MSN reports.

In 2004, following a conflict with his coach and a fan, his contract at Fluminense was terminated.

Around October 2007, the lethal striker failed an anti-doping test for using finasteride, a substance used to prevent hair loss.

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Romario was banned for 120 days for doping. Photo credit: @mottamarcos.
Source: Twitter

He was banned for 120 days, but after an appeal, he was acquitted of all charges.

Romario’s extreme weight loss

In 2017, the former striker was pictured looking pale and gaunt alongside a fan. He later opened up that he had undergone an operation for diabetes.

He said, as per SunSport:

"Two months ago, I was operated on and now I feel very good - despite what has been said. When they operated on me, I weighed [12 stone, six pounds] and now I weigh [11 stone]. I initially lost [two stone, five pounds] in the operation. My objective was not to be so thin, but to fight against diabetes."

Romario's family life

The former football star has been married three times and has six children with four different women.

One of his sons, Romarinho, attempted to follow his footballing footsteps, playing for Vasco da Gama but never reaching his father's level.

Sadly, one of his daughters, Ivy, is said to have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Romario's venture into politics

The Brazil legend also became involved in politics after his career, even becoming an elected senator in his native country.

Despite all the controversies and drama, Romario remains one of the greatest strikers who ever graced the game of football.

Romario names 2 players ahead of him

Sports Brief earlier reported that legendary Brazil forward, Romario listed two players better than him.

The Barcelona icon represented Brazil in 70 games from 1987 to 2005, scoring 55 times for his nation.

Romario has stated the legendary Diego Maradona and Pele were the only footballers superior to him.

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Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.