Brazilian striking legend Romário has once again announced his retirement from soccer, although this time it seems to be for good after the 42-year-old admitted that he was unable to get back in shape to continue playing.
Romário has already announced his retirement from the game on a number of occasions, only to come out a couple of days later and change his mind, but this time it looks like it could be for real.
"My time has finished. It has been a lot of fun, but officially I am not going to play again. I have stopped," he announced at the launch of a DVD commemorating his career.
After his last announcement, Romário claimed that he was going to the Carribean on vacation while he waited for offers to come in for his services, but he has now admitted that it would be near impossible for him to get back in shape, especially considering his known dislike for training.
"To be honest, I'm stopping because I am not in the required shape to continue playing. I have not played since November, I've put on [six to nine] between then and now, and it is difficult to return to fitness, especially at my age," he explained.
"I am happy because I will never have to train again, or travel or sit around in team hotels."
His announcement brings to an end a sparkling career, in which he scored -- by his own tally -- 1,002 goals, clearly marking him as one of the most natural finishers of his, or any, generation.
He gained World Cup success with Brazil in 1994, the same year in which he was top scorer as Barcelona took the Spanish league title, and in which he also won the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Romário's career ended as it started: at Vasco da Gama, where he will always be remembered as one of the true greats of the club and of Brazilian soccer.