- Brazilian striker won World Cup in 1994
- Starred for Barcelona
- Argentine icon more of a No.10 than a 9
WHAT HAPPENED? The 1994 World Cup winner was one of the finest goalscorers the game has ever seen when operating at the peak of his powers, with 18 memorable months spent at Camp Nou working under Johan Cruyff between 1993 and 1995. Romario was named FIFA World Player of the Year during that spell, hitting 30 goals in 33 La Liga games during the 1993-94 campaign, and still considers himself to be a better option in a No.9 berth than seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.
WHAT THEY SAID: Piecing together a greatest XI for ESPN made up of either/or selections, Romario said when presented with the decision of choosing between himself and Messi: “We played in different positions. In his position, Messi is the best. In my position, I’m the best.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Romario famously helped Brazil to global glory at the 1994 World Cup, claiming Golden Ball honours in the United States, and plundered 55 goals for his country through 70 appearances.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? Romario claims to have scored more than 1,000 goals over the course of his distinguished career, with Messi – who inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last year – now boasting more than 800 efforts to his name despite often operating in a wide or deep-lying attacking role.