Brazilian legend Romario, who just finished a successful season with Miami FC in USL-1, told reporters on Thursday he's just 16 goals shy of reaching the 1,000 mark for his professional career. The
40-year-old striker, who won the World Cup with Brazil at USA '94, said he had received an offer to continue his career in Australia, and had returned to Brazil to mull his options. Romario scored 20
goals in 27 matches for Miami FC, taking his professional tally to 984. However, the Brazilian media have long disputed his claim, saying his total includes goals from youth team matches and training
games. It is said that earlier this year, Vasco da Gama, his club of many years in Brazil, declared preseason practice games as official friendlies to give Romario a better chance of pushing his total
toward 1,000 goals. Pelé, Brazil's greatest player, is said to have scored 1,282 goals during his professional career, a tally that is also disputed for the same reasons by the Brazilian media.
Said Romario: "The 1,000 goals are not an obsession for me, but I'm very close. I don't know if I'm going to get there but all my friends and family are keeping count." Of his five months with Miami
FC, Romario said, "It was a positive experience, I scored 20 goals in 27 matches and the standard was better than I expected." According to United Soccer League stats, Romario scored 18 regular-season
goals and one playoff goal.
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