RIO DE JANEIRO - Romario, who won the 1994
World Cup with Brazil and scored more than 1,000 goals playing
for major clubs, is looking to put something back by entering
"Shorty", the poor boy from the Jacarezinho 'favela' (shanty
town) who became one of the world's best strikers, is seeking
support from the poor in Rio to win a local election in October.
If he is elected as a federal deputy for the Rio branch of
the Brazilian Socialist Party, Romario would hope to help
deprived children "to give back all that which Father in Heaven
Romario, whose youngest daughter has Down's syndrome,
proposes creating sports centres for young poor people in Rio
state and providing social assistance to disabled children.
"In politics I'm going to have less difficulty than I've had
so far to do something for children and young people in the
community and also for children with special needs," the
"People, especially in the communities, respect me and see
in me someone who came from where they are and that they can get
to where I did," he told Reuters Television after three hours of
campaigning in the City of God favela on Sunday.
"I was always an example for them in that sense and now that
I can, I must give back all that which Father in Heaven gave me
and I believe politics can make that possible for me."
The former Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense, PSV
Eindhoven, Barcelona and Valencia striker, who retired from
football at 41 after scoring more than 1,000 goals according to
his own statistics, promises "another goal for Brazil".
In an electoral TV programme, Romario says: "In sport, I
always promised and delivered. In politics, it won't be any
different. I count on your vote to score another goal for
If elected, Romario, who also has a strong campaign on the
internet with 112,000 followers on Twitter, will have to spend
the week in the capital Brasilia.
He promised, however, to continue as a director of America,
the Rio club he has always been a fan of and which won promotion
to the state first division, although they are in the fourth
tier of the national championship.
He said: "I haven't played for three years, what I do in
football is help America and that's something I won't stop
doing. But I'm going to get fully involved in politics."
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