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Romario’s official retirement from the Brazilian national team will be marked by a tribute match played at the Rose Bowl, Los Angeles – scene of ‘The Little One’s’ greatest triumph.

By Alex Hough

The game, between the 1994 Brazilian World Cup winning team and the Mexican national side, will take place on the 11th November.

The striker was in the Brazilian Football Confederation offices to thank the President Ricardo Teixeira for all his support, and to invite him to his final farewell.

Romario said: “I always said that for me it’d be an honour to retire from the selection wearing the number 11 shirt. Without this no party would be complete. I want to thank the president, who promised to do everything possible to help the game.

“From the 94 winners, he failed to confirm the presence of Ronaldo [then 16 years old] and Cafu, who already guaranteed me that they’d play. Parreira will be the coach and we trust that the Rose Bowl, scene of the triumph, will be the venue.”

Romario didn’t talk about the recent disagreement with Ronaldo, who had called him ‘pretentious’ and ‘arrogant’. However, this match will celebrate the career in the green and yellow of one of the most flamboyant footballers of the 90’s.

On the World Cup in the United States, Romario said: “It was the most unforgettable experience not only for me, but also for the president Teixeira and for the whole Brazilian nation. After 24 years we had the obligation to give this happiness to the people and happily we managed to do it. It’s going to be very difficult to get another group like that together, united through one aim.

For his part, Teixeira said of Romario: “He’s not going to stop, I’m sure. It’s a shame he’s not at Flamengo to score the goals the team need to avoid going down. Romario could say it better, but I personally consider those moments [his goals against Uruguay to win the 1989 CopaAmerica, and against Holland in the World Cup Quarter Final] as the most important moments. And then there’s the strike against Sweden in the Semi Final. With his size he managed to head our saviour goal of the finals!”

As a final statement, Romariop, idolized in his homeland, said: “The Brazilian selection is a part of my life. Every player in the world dreams of wearing that shirt. I managed to do it and thanks to God I was a World Champion. That will always stay with me.”

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