Romario will wait to score 1,000th career goal at Maracana

Romario is likely to skip Vasco's match against Americano on Wednesday so he can score his 1,000th career goal at Maracana stadium.

The striker scored his 999th goal - according to his count - on Sunday against Flamengo at Maracana.

"I was nervous before the match. And that's not going to change," Romario told a local radio station on Monday. "I'll practice this week trying to concentrate on scoring the 1,000th goal, which is my objective and everybody is waiting for."

Romario has said all along that he wants to reach the mark at Maracana, the same place where Pele scored his 1,000th in 1969.

Vasco's next match at the famed venue in Rio de Janeiro will be on Sunday, against Botafogo. The team's encounter with Americano on Wednesday is scheduled for Vasco's Sao Januario stadium.

Vasco president Eurico Miranda told local media that Romario will not play against Americano, only against Botafogo.

The decision didn't catch many people by surprise.

"Honestly, I already expected that," Romario's teammate Leandro Amaral said. "He deserves the 1,000th goal at Maracana."

Shortly after the match against Flamengo, Romario said he would ask soccer officials to move Wednesday's game to Maracana, but his request was not initially accepted.

The discussion could have been avoided if Flamengo's goalkeeper hadn't come up with a dramatic save of Romario's low strike late in Sunday's game. Bruno deflected the striker's close-range shot with his feet with just minutes remaining.

"Bruno could have helped me there," Romario said. "It was a great save, but at the wrong moment."

The 41-year-old Romario says he will be only the second player to achieve the 1,000-goal mark, along with Pele.

Pele, who according to FIFA accumulated 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches, scored his 1,000th goal as a 29-year-old.

Players from the Brazil national team, who will face Ghana in a friendly in Sweden on Tuesday, took time to sign a team shirt bearing the No. 1,000 on the front - a gift that will be sent to Romario when he reaches the milestone.

The shirt had Romario's name on the back, along with his No. 11.

"In the name of the whole Selecao (national team), a big hug and congratulations," read the inscription signed by defender Lucio.

"Romario has always been my idol and I hope he can score the 1,000th goal soon," Ronaldinho said, reports AP.

The Brazilian soccer confederation also will give Romario a commemorative medal for his achievement.

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