The talent, the gossip, the inside track
Celso de Campos Jr
Have you heard the news about the master coming out of retirement to help his beloved team?
No, I’m not talking about the German car racer with the bad neck.
Brazil will roll the red carpet once again for Romário, who has announced he’s returning to play “a game or two” for América in the Rio de Janeiro State Second Division Championship.
The 43-year-old ace wants to fulfill a promise made to his father, Edevair, who died last year and was a lifelong fan of the club.
“I want to don the América shirt to make my father’s dream come true,” he said.
Last week the 1994 World Cup champion, who’s a club-director-slash-sponsor-magnet, took to the field for his first practice with his employees-slash-team-mates.
“I hope my premiere is not widely publicised. People will compare me with the old Romário, and I’m no match for him," said Shorty.
"I’m not in physical or technical conditions to help America, but I want to be champion for the team, even if I had played only a minute!
“The most important thing here is that the young players will learn from my experience. We’ll be together in the games and daily practices.”
"Keep up Graeme. You've got three years on me..."
Daily practices? Let’s pretend we didn’t hear that one from the man who coined the phrase: “There’s no need to practice, I already know what to do on the pitch.”
Unless, of course, he wants to spend more time out of the house to forget his sea of problems.
In the two last months alone, Romário has been arrested and spent a night in prison for not paying alimony to his first wife, was convicted of tax evasion, accused of being part of a pyramid scheme, and had his luxury penthouse in Rio de Janeiro auctioned to cover for his debts.
But for sure his return to football is a way of boosting his bank account. After all, fellow champ Michael Schumacher was going to earn 3 million euro per race.
“Me? I’ll earn R$500 (around £170) a month... it definitely won’t help me pay my alimonies,” smiled the ace.
That’s the price you pay for having outstanding marksmanship – we know Shorty has six kids with four different ladies.
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