The decade of the 90s became one of the golden years of the Brazilian national team in the world soccer scene. At that time, the samba team performed in two top world cup matches, the first in 1994 in the United States and the second in 1998 in France.
Special for the 1994 world cup, they even ended as winners. At that time, the samba team defeated Italy through a shootout after Roberto Baggio as the last kicker Gli Azzuri failed to fulfill his duties.
Apart from tactician Carlos Alberto Pereira, other Brazilian heroes at the 1994 world cup were Romario and Bebeto. Both are positioned as attackers, they are a duet in the front lines of the Samba team when they travel in the United States.
One of the most memorable acts from the duet was during the match between Brazil and the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Playing in the Rose Bowl stadium and watched by 64,000 spectators, Romario gave Brazil a 1-0 lead with his classic goal after using Bebeto’s pass from the left side.
Ten minutes later, the Samba team added advantage, this time through Bebeto’s legs who had previously made the move past the Dutch goalkeeper. Before the match was played, Bebeto’s wife had just given birth to a son named Matheus two days earlier.
As a form of gratitude, Bebeto immediately ran to the edge of the field in the style of rocking a baby, Romario then followed Mazinho to join him and in celebration of goals which became one of the most iconic moments in the grand tournament.
After celebrating a goal in the style of baby rocking, Bebeto immediately embraced the player next to him, and the first person to embrace was Romario, his duet on the front lines who also became his rival in a few years.
The celebration and expression of happiness on the faces of the two players seemed to indicate that there was no competition between them. The chemistry between Bebeto and Romario in the field is a natural thing, whereas, in personal life, they have an unharmonious relationship.
Facts reveal, outside the field, this deadly duet has different views, personalities, and lifestyles so that when they are able to collaborate well in the green arena, making their achievements are amazing.
Bebeto himself is someone who with his family has a clean and religious life. While Romário, is extroverted, hedonistic, and his lifestyle often changes, more precisely the nature of Romario in living a life worse than Bebeto.
Romário himself revealed having a contrasting difference between himself and Bebeto, “We are different people, Bebeto is a family type, staying at home. While I am a street cat. (Quoted from Thesefootballthemes)
In the 1994 World Cup itself, in total, they scored eight goals for Brazil in the grand tournament. With Bebeto collecting 3 goals while Romario as many as 5 goals. Their collaboration made it one of the best duets at the event.
Outside the national team, Never ask, the two players are destined to walk above the competition. These two figures are very familiar to Rio De Janeiro football fans who in the 1980s and early 90s watched them contribute goals for Flamengo and Vasco da Gama, the city’s two biggest clubs.
For years, competition at the club level was inevitable. Ahead of the 1994 world cup, Carlos Alberto Pereyra, the Brazilian coach, had to mediate between the two, it had a clear goal for the samba team to triumph in the world cup.
Born in February 1964 in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Bebeto was the fifth of eight children. He was able to study up to high school level. Bebeto then began his junior career with a local club, Bahia when he was 16 years old. Not long after, he joined a city rival, Vitoria.
After impressing at the Junior level, Bebeto was looked at by Brazilian clubs, until in 1984 he was recruited by the giant Flamengo team. And in 1985, a player who had this speed strengthened the national team, played in six matches but there was not one goal that he created, this made doubts the public who expected him to become the successor to Careca, Brazilian national team striker at that time.
After performing poorly, in three years in a row, Bebeto was not recalled by Brazil at all. His role in the Brazilian front line was then run by Romario. Armed with rapid acceleration, good ball control, and a clinical settlement made Johan Cruyff at the time praise Romario with “a genius from the penalty box”.
Differing 180 degrees from Bebeto, Romario who was born in 1966 had a very apprehensive early life. In fact, his parents work just enough to meet their dietary needs.
When he was little, Romario often played soccer on the streets. Until he grows and develops. His ability to attract the club called Olaria did not take long for Romario to then join Vasco Da Gama, Flamengo’s main rival. He then made his professional debut in 1985.
Both Bebeto and Romario both became the mainstay players in their respective clubs, over a period of four years they competed for domestic titles and individual awards such as top scorer and the title of the best player.
After being able to play brilliantly with Vasco, Romario made his debut for the Brazilian national team in 1987. Unlike Bebeto, Romario managed to adapt well on the international scene, scoring four goals in his first six appearances.
On the other hand, Bebeto who performed well with Flamengo was called back to strengthen Brazil at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In this competition both Romario and Bebeto for the first time played in a team, leaving for a moment their rivalry at the club level.
At the Seoul Olympics, Romario appeared far superior to Bebeto. Scored 7 goals and brought Brazil out as runner-up. Romario’s brilliant performance made him attract the attention of PSV Eindhoven who recruited him in the summer of 1988.
Romario’s departure to PSV made Vasco Da Gama upset. Until then, which caused the most controversy and greatly shocked the public of the city of Rio De Janeiro, they brought Bebeto who incidentally came from the Rival club, Flamengo in 1989.
Bebeto’s first season with Vasco went through brilliantly, he became the top scorer and festive Brazilian league title. Not only that, but he was also named the best South American player. On the other hand, Romario also performed satisfactorily with PSV.
They then defended Brazil in the 1989 Copa America which took place in their own country. Their collaboration was successful in bringing Samba to finish as a winner. Despite appearing as a playmaker, it was Bebeto who came out as the top scorer with a score of 6 goals.
After three years with Vasco, Bebeto then ventured into Europe and enjoyed success while strengthening Deportivo La Coruna from 1992 to 1996.
As for Romario, after undergoing several perfect seasons at the Eredivisie, he then strengthened Barcelona from 1993 to 1995, it made his return to compete with his eternal rival, Bebeto in the Spanish domestic arena.
Although both of them were performing greatly at the club level and are almost always involved in fierce competition, Romario and Bebeto were able to put the matter aside when they appeared to defend their country on the international scene. They scored much and brought Brazil to victory.
Romario ended his career as a footballer in 2009, while Bebeto five years earlier. At the national team level, Romario was more promising with a score of 55 goals in 70 appearances, while Bebeto created 39 goals in 75 matches.
After not being together for a long time, the two became involved in cooperation on the political stage in 2017.