RIO DE JANEIRO, May 20 (Reuters) - Former Brazil striker Romario scored what he claimed to be the 1,000th goal of his career by converting a penalty in Vasco da Gama’s match against Sport Recife on Sunday.
The 48th-minute goal lead to extraordinary scenes at Vasco’s Sao Januario stadium where celebrations held up the Brazilian championship match for 16 minutes.
Dozens of people, including friends, relatives and a horde of radio and television reporters ran onto the pitch to hug, congratulate and interview the former Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven player.
Romario was then presented with a special shirt by club president Eurico Miranda with the number 1,000 on the back and completed a lap of honour, before going back onto the pitch for the re-start.
“I dedicate this to my family, my children, I’m really emotional, this is an extraordinary moment in my life,” the 41-year-old said.
Romario admits that his tally includes goals scored in youth team, friendly and testimonial games.
“It’s a great pleasure to reach this target, which only one other player has managed,” he said, referring to Pele who also scored his 1,000th goal from a penalty in 1969.
Romario had two chances to score in the first half, but his first effort was cleared off the line by Du Lopes and the second went begging as he was tackled when about to shoot.
But there was no mistake when Vasco were awarded a penalty three minutes after halftime as Romario coolly sent goalkeeper Magrao the wrong way to put his team 3-0 ahead.
Romario had been stuck on 999 goals for three matches, during which Vasco were knocked out of two competitions and coach Renato Portaluppi was fired.
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