JAMIE RAINBOW / World Soccer: World Cup-winning partners Romario and Bebeto have both struck again, this time on the politic pitch after both being elected to the Brazilian parliament in weekend elections.
Romario – who had been a congressman deputy in the lower house – was elected senator for Rio de Janeiro, with a decisive 63pc of the vote. The 48-year-old received more than 4.5m votes in Rio de Janeiro, the most ever in the state. Former Rio mayor Cesar Maia, his closest contender polled 20pc.
Bebeto, his striking partner when Brazil won the 1994 World Cup, was re-elected as a state deputy.
Andres Sanchez, the former president of Sao Paulo-based football club Corinthians, was elected to the lower house for the Workers’ Party.
Romario had been a fierce critic of the World Cup hosting in Brazil but his main focus – he has a daughter with a handicap – has been to improve conditions for the disabled.
The 48-year-old World Cup winner said he was proud to have “dribbled past poverty” to make history as a former slum resident who made it to the senate.
He, along with former Brazil striker, Ronaldo, was on the organising committee of the 2014 World Cup and was involved in some testy exchanges with his former team-mate.
“Either Ronaldo and Bebeto aren’t aware of what is going on, or they are pretending they aren’t aware of what is going on. Either way, it is ignorant,” Romario told the New York Times before the finals.
Bebeto responded in conciliatory style.
“My relationship with Romario is that he’ll be my friend for life, forever. It’s just that he has his ideas, and I have mine,” he said.
With the Rio Olympics due to take place in less than two years time, the pair look set to test that friendship even further.
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