Romario had four stints with Vasco da Gama, where he started and finished his career, and also played for Flamengo and Fluminense in Brazil, along with Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia in Europe.
The striker also had spells with Al Sadd in Qatar, Miami FC in the United States and Adelaide United in Australia.
"These last 20 years for me have been very positive," said Romario, regarded as one of the game's top goal poachers.
"To be honest, I'm stopping because I don't see myself in any shape to continue playing.
|" ...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."
Known for his dislike of training, he added: "I'm happy because I won't have to train again, or travel or sit in team hotels."
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.
He only scored two more goals, making his last appearance on November 4, 2007 as a substitute for Vasco against Internacional.
The chosen one
In December, he was banned for 120 days after testing positive for the banned masking agent finasteride following a game in October.
The ban was overturned in February when a tribunal accepted an appeal that said he inadvertently used the substance as part of treatment for hair loss.
In between, he had five matches as Vasco's player-coach but quit because of interference in team selection by Eurico Miranda, club president.
|"When I was born, the man in the sky pointed to me and said "That's the guy.'"|
During his career, Romario often said he played better after a night out on the town.
Never known for modesty, the Brazilian once said: "When I was born, the man in the sky pointed to me and said "That's the guy.'"
However, he was axed on the eve of the 1998 World Cup because of injury and then controversially left out in 2002 by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Romario kept his career going, defying those who said he should hang up his boots, but four years ago he was sacked by Fluminense after being jeered off the field at the Maracana.
Vasco, the club where he began his career, took him back in 2005 and in a remarkable turnaround, hescored 22 goals in the Brazilian championship to finish as the competition's top scorer at the age of 39.