What's the story behind Romario's Brazil jersey?

Romário de Souza Faria, better known as Romário, was one of the most outstanding strikers in the Brazilian national team. Since his debut in 1987, the famous Carioca 11 jersey has stood out as one of the brightest players of his generation.

When he retired from the Canarinha in 2005, his record showed how decisive he was in his team's success: a silver medal at the Olympic Games, a FIFA Confederations Cup, two Copa América titles and a World Cup, no less.

Romario's Brazil jersey was the visible image that rivals saw of this genius. For fans of this legendary national team, Romário's outfits of 1987, 1994, 2002 and 2005 have a special value, as will be revealed in the following lines.

Romário's Brazil jersey, one of the Canarinha emblems of the 20th century

For the fans of the Carioca team, this team was always much more than Pele, Leonardo and Ronaldinho. The best proof is the popularity of Brazil's Romario team, one of the most coveted by fans and collectors today.

To tell the truth, Brazil's national team jersey wasn't always yellow. Previously it was white and blue, but after the 1950 Maracanã, the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) debuted a new kit in yellow, green and blue, the colors of the Brazilian flag and also of Our Lady of Conception Aparecida.

This design was the work of the young artist Aldyr Garcia Schlee, who won among 301 other participants in a contest organized by the newspaper Correio da Manhã of Rio de Janeiro.

When Romário made his debut, the yellow-green clothing was already an irreplaceable classic for the Carioca team, and that is why all of Romário's Brazilian shirts used the classic Canarinha tricolor.

The Carioca star made his debut during the 1987 Copa America. Ireland were his first 'victim' on 23 April, although the Brazilian genius did not score his first goal until he faced Finland. His first start? Against Israel, when he scored two of the scorer's goals.

The design of Romario's 1987 jersey for Brazil was more complex than the team's predecessors, although he wore the classic Canarinha pattern: yellow jersey, blue trousers and white socks.

During the 1988 Olympic Games, Romário surprised both his own and strangers by winning the silver medal and being the pichichi of the tournament. However, his memory is bittersweet for the Cariocas, as the Soviet Union snatched the gold on that occasion.

Umbro was the manufacturer responsible for making the design of their clothing, breaking with the hegemony of blue for shorts, choosing the green. This rarity is added to other unique features, such as the letters 'BRAZIL' on the chest or the three decorative lines we see on the shirt, shorts and socks.

But Romário de Brasil's most remembered t-shirt was, without a doubt, that of 1994. Along with Cláudio Taffarel, Ronaldo, Leonardo, Márcio Santos and Dunga, Romário won the World Cup held in the United States, one of the most exciting editions in living memory. As if it were apoco, he won the Golden Ball, nothing less.

Later, Romário would say that "that generation made history". The design of his clothing in that world edition also broke with everything.

He had a very distinguished style created by Umbro, with the yellow of his shirt provided with a subtle pattern with the shield of the Brazilian federation and a very elaborate high neck. The goalkeeper, Taffarel, deserves a special mention, with a very daring dark green design, provided with several decorative motifs in yellow and white.

Romário and the Brazil jersey also shone in 2002 and 2005

But the Brazilian genius was also one of the icons of the early 21st century. During the 2002 World Cup between South Korea and Japan, Romário signed one of his best seasons, being the pichichi of his national team alongside Rivaldo.

Under Luiz Felipe Scolari, Romário's Brazil jersey would become one of the most memorable. In addition to the classic Canarinha tricolour, this kit was characterised by triangles on the shoulders, thick sleeve lines and arrowheads on the sides, all in green.

In the words of their manufacturer, Nike, "we wanted to lead with an innovative design and deliver a product that would withstand the high heat and humidity in the field. But "we realized something important in that year: it's not about Nike", but about "the fans, the country and the Carioca culture".

Nike was also present at Romario a la Canarinha's farewell in 2005, when a pre-German World Cup friendly was held between Brazil and Guatemala. The Carioca side would win by three goals.

Romario left the pitch in the 38th minute, tearfully and receiving a heartfelt ovation from his fans. In this way, the striker would complete one of the most brilliant trajectories of the beautiful game in Brazil.

Romario's latest Brazil jersey has a special value for fans, not so much for its aesthetic quality as for having welcomed the farewell of the Carioca idol.

However, its design would leave no one indifferent. The green triangles of the previous edition would leave their place to give way to fine wrapping lines, with numbers inside a circle and socks topped by a blue strip.

This and other Romario jerseys with Brazil witnessed a glorious era not only for this national team, but also for the world of football.

To understand the value of Romario and Canarinha's successes, it is important to remember that they faced Paolo Maldini's Italy, Zinedine Zidane's France or Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn's Germany.