US soccer fans who go way back to the heady days of hosting the World Cup in ’94 have fond, golden memories of one Romario de Souza Faria. The Brazilian legend, along with striking partner Bebeto, lit up the cup en route to a dramatic PK shootout win over Italy at the Rose Bowl. Those were simpler times, when we all wore faux denim soccer jerseys, and it was good.
Years later, Romario is obviously retired from soccer and now serves as a congressman/politician/soundbite machine, but his 18 year old son has taken up the family trade in professional soccer, and the nickname “Romarinho”. That probably means “little Romario” (don’t make me look it up). He plays in Vasco da Gama’s youth system, though his dad says he’s set to sign for Barcelona.
But there’s a problem: he’s not the only Romarinho.
There is also a 21 year old who recently made his debut for Corinthians, scoring this sweet brace.
Two Romarinhos? Ruh roh!
How ’bout three?
According to this Wikipedia entry, there’s a 26 year old Romarinho who spent some time at Swedish club GAIS.
Clearly, this cannot stand.
For starters, I think we can dismiss the third Romarinho due to overwhelming mediocrity. A Swedish club? Come on. He’s also too old to ever be the next big Brazilian starlet. Old Swedish Romarinho, find yourself a different nickname and sail off into anonymity.
That leaves two Romarinhos. However, THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.
While a no-holds-barred cage match to the death would be ideal to solve this problem, one could easily arrive at a more civilized solution: let’s just call Romario’s son Romario Jr. After all, Junior is a nickname often added to Brazilian player’s names, so a Romario Junior wouldn’t stick out too much. Then the real Romarinho, the one who plays for Corinthians and looks to be fairly talented and didn’t get his spot in pro soccer thanks to nepotism, can keep the Romarinho handle all to himself.
Done and DONE. Meanwhile, futebol fans of Brazil: I exhort you to come up with some new nicknames. We’re all sick of your miriad Ronaldo permutations and thinly-veiled scat references. And we definitely don’t need three friggin’ Romarinhos. Thank you very much.