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Two Neglected Veterans

Posted May. 10, 2002 08:40,   


Italy’s Roberto Baggio (35. Brescia) and Brazil’s Romario (36. Vasco da Gama).

Europe and South America’s two veteran stars have been excluded from the 2002 World Cup entry list, disappointing their soccer fans.

After Romario was excluded from the Brazilian squad on the 7th, Baggio’s name was also not on the Italian list.

The two frontline strikers of Italy and Brazil, which faced each other during the 1994 U.S.A. World Cup, put out some impressive performance in their own professional leagues, but failed to place their names on the national team lists.

The two were expected of the World Cup participation with soccer fans’ full support, but were `neglected` by coaches and colleagues.

As Baggio was aiming for his 4th consecutive World Cup participation, he recovered rapidly from the knee surgery that required 6 months of recovery period, and the public supported his return in one voice, as Italian coach Trapattoni kept expressing interest in him too. However, his `internal enemies` like Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero directly rejected his return, saying that `he would harm the team’s harmony`.

Also, although Romario has been displaying his best performance in the national league by recording average goal 0.946 per match, which is higher than Pele (average 0.931), and saving the Brazilian national team in the South American World Cup preliminaries, he was excluded after all.

Romario even had support from the Brazilian president, but Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari still rejected him.