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Romario scores "1,000th" goal
Brazilian striker Romario has finally scored his 1000th goal.
Last Modified: 21 May 2007 17:19 GMT

The moment they all waited for: Romario scores his 1000th goal [GALLO/GETTY] 

At long last, the quest for veteran striker Romario's 1,000th goal of his career has come to end, after he converted a 48th-minute penalty in Vasco da Gama's 3-1 victory over Sport of Recife in the Brazilian national championship.
 
The 41-year-old delighted a cheering crowd that packed Rio's Sao Januario stadium to see the 23-year veteran.
After the goal, the game was suspended, with Vasco leading 3-0, as his mother, father wife, children and a horde of journalists rushed onto the field.
 
Romario then performed a lap of honour, waving to the cheering crowd.

"I dedicate this goal to all the people who helped me and who were always by my side, like my parents, my children and all of you," a teary-eyed Romario said.

"I want to thank God in heaven for all this."

"This is a historic moment for me and world soccer," Romario said humbly.

"I have been chasing this goal real hard and at times I thought I may never reach it. Without a doubt this was the most important moment in my career as a professional player."

At the end of the commemoration that lasted about 15 minutes, Romario
returned to the field to finish the match.

Andre Dias accounted for Vasco's other two goals in the third and 37th
minutes.

A dubious figure

Many in football consider the achievement dubious, pointing to 71 goals
Romario counts that were scored as a teenager and as an amateur, as well as others scored in training games and unofficial matches against small clubs.

In addition, his tally had to be revised several times because he initially counted goals scored in matches that never happened and in games that ended 0-0.

The mark is not recognized by FIFA, which says it only counts goals scored in official competitions.

According to FIFA, Romario still has quite a way to go before reaching
1,000 goals.

Not counting the 71 before turning pro, Romario would have 929 career goals.

Three before him

Three other players reportedly have scored 1,000 goals, the most notable being Pele, who had 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches and who scored his 1,000th against Vasco when he was 29.

Others who by some accounts also have scored 1,000 are Brazilian Artur
Friedenreich and Austria's Franz Binder.

Friedenreich, according to some historians, scored 1,329 from 1909-1935, principally with CA Paulistano of Sao Paulo.

Binder supposedly has 1,005.

Romario stunned everyone by winning the 2005 scoring title in the
Brazilian league at the age of 39.

Most of Romario's goals were scored for Vasco, where he began his career at 18 in 1985.

Romario says his most important goals came for Brazil against the Netherlands in the 1994 World Cup quarterfinals, and against Uruguay in South American World Cup qualifying a year earlier.

Source:
Agencies
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