On the day of his 53 birthday, we remember Romario’s unforgettable story about the day Johan Cruyff gave him extra off days for the Carnival in Rio.
Brazilian legend Romario turns 53 years old today, which is a perfect occasion to recall one of the funniest stories he has with manager Johan Cruyff during his days as an FC Barcelona star.
The Brazilian former striker is easily considered one of the best players from his country’s history, he is the only one who also reached over 1,000 goals next to Pele throughout his career and one of the most talented players of his generation.
Before Ronaldo Nazario came to the scene, there was Romario and his insane skills to score goals.
The biggest impact he made was during the 1994 World Cup in the United States, the man could do everything up front and he led the Brazilian National Team to World Cup success against Italy in the final played at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, in the state of California during the summer of 1994.
A year before playing that historic tournament, Romario was signed by Johan Cruyff to play for FC Barcelona and he had two great seasons in which the Brazilian won La Liga trophy from the 1993-1994 season.
During his time with the Dutch manager, Romario developed certain fame of being a party boy that he kept throughout his whole career.
Great Goals: Romario for Barcelona in the Clasico
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) January 29, 2019
When he played for the Catalan club, the striker didn’t like the idea that he had to travel way more than the rest of his foreigner teammates who are all European and only he needed to leave the continent in order to visit his family in Brazil.
This obstacle posed a real threat to Romario’s schedule, thus he decided to bargain with manager Johan Cruyff in order to get more days off in order to get the proper rest he needed in order to always be fit to play.
He came up with the idea of trading goals for days off with the Dutch manager, Cruyff agreed to this and Romario decided to score more goals than they agreed upon in order to get even more days off.
This final decision didn’t go too well with his teammates, but the late great Johan Cruyff stuck to his word and let Romario off the hook because he delivered more than what he promised.
This accelerated lifestyle that Romario led during his career, only gave him enough time to remain at Barcelona for two seasons and he eventually left the Catalan club due to differences with the manager.
But everybody will remember that magical 1993-1994 season in which the Brazilian was pure magic, he truly was the first Brazilian ‘R’ from a long line of compatriots who gave their country’s name a spectacular reputation at FC Barcelona.
Happy birthday to the genius that is Romário 🇧🇷pic.twitter.com/X6Cg35gB4o
— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) January 29, 2019
“I remember it was a Wednesday. FC Barcelona wasn’t going to have matches and we were all going to get four days off,” said Romario in an interview picked up by Diario AS.
“The thing is that I needed at least a day and a half to travel and I was only going to get two and a half days to rest because of that.”
“Meanwhile, other foreigners like Laudrup, Stoichkov, Koeman, Hagi, and a young man from Yugoslavia (Romario was talking about Vucevic) were all only three or four hours away from their homes.”
“So what I did was talk to Cruyff and he asked me what was the best thing we could do. I told him that’s what I was wondering myself.”
So we reached an agreement. He told me that if I scored two goals in the next match he would give me more vacation days, so I scored three.”
“The match ended and I ran off to the dressing room, I was the first to make it there… and when everybody else arrived I was ready to leave.”
“I came out during the break because my flight was already booked to leave right after the match was over.”
“As all the players started going in and Cruyff arrived, he had to explain the deal to all of them. They didn’t seem to like it but they all remained silent and accepted the deal.”
Romário de Souza Faria's talent was only surpassed by his excessive self-confidence pic.twitter.com/c1AbjuZSmP
— Mohamed Moallim (@iammoallim) January 29, 2019
What’s your fondest memory of Brazilian Romario’s brilliant career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.