I haven’t truly cared about football in years. But I’ve found myself longing to watch something – anything – football-related.
That desire lead me to goals compilations and YouTube is packed full of them. Amongst the volleys, drives, and headers was the majesty of Romário. Watching his goals rekindled my love for his technique and I managed to find a documentary about his brief time at Barcelona between 1993 and 1995.
Romário joined Barça from PSV in 1993, where he had scored 165 goals in 167 games and helped the Dutch side win 3 Eredivisie titles, 2 KNVB Cups, and the Dutch Super Cup. The Brazilian striker hit the ground running in his first season at Barcelona, scoring 32 in 47, including 30 in 33 in La Liga. Those performances were the perfect springboard for his 1994 World Cup campaign, where he left the US as a World champion and dazzling millions with his skills in front of goal.
“I have my way of doing things”
As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. But that adage wasn’t in Romário’s rule book and he took an unofficially extended holiday after the World Cup, angering Barça fans and the staff. Upon his return, he apologised for his absence but everything was soured between him and the club. His previous form was non-existent and he could only conjure 7 goals in 18 games in all competitions. Besides fleeting moments of brilliance against Manchester United in the Champions League, it was all over for Romário in Catalunya. He went back to Brazil in 1995, joining Flamengo.
There’s no denying Romário was a one-of-a-kind striker but it’s a shame Barcelona only got to see a portion of his rumoured 1,000+ goal tally. Magic never lasts forever. In his own words:
“Strikers are egotists, selfish. We have to be.”
Stream the documentary below.