Rio de Janeiro : The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) will honour veteran striker Romario, for scoring 1000 goals in his career. The striker will receive a medal identical to that granted to the legendary Pele by the CBF.
"The CBF feels honoured to be able to commemorate a player as important as (Romario) has been for (Brazilian) football and for the national team," said CBF president Ricardo Teixeira.
Romario, 41, achieved the feat late Sunday during his side Vasco da Gama's 3-1 victory over Sport Recife. But the feat has not been recognized by football's world governing body FIFA, which says he included goals from unofficial matches before he turned professional.
Teixeira, in comments published on the CBF website, said he feels a special attachment to Romario and credited the striker's talent with several of Brazil's key triumphs over the past 20 years.
He noted that, when he became the head of the Brazilian federation in 1989, the football giant had not won the prestigious Copa America for 40 years. Brazil won the tournament that very year, with a goal scored by Romario in the final against Uruguay.
"In 1994, after 24 years, the national team won its fourth World Cup," Teixeira said of the feat in which Romario again played a leading role.
For these reasons, the striker is to receive a medal identical to that which the CBF gave Pele when he scored his thousandth goal in 1969, as well as an official Brazil shirt with the number 1,000.
"Romario deserves the respect of all the Brazilian fans," Teixeira said.
Current Brazil coach Dunga – who played with Romario in the world champion squad in 1994 – also praised the striker. Dunga said he was "happy to have been a part of the same generation as a player who definitely made history."