Brazilian strike force turned politicians: Romario, Bebeto win elections

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Romario and Bebeto were once an electric strike force that prodded Brazil toward a World Cup final.

Now they’re rising stars in the Brazilian political scene, having won elections in their home country this week.

The pair were rivals on the political scene last Spring, disagreeing over the World Cup in Brazil; Romario, 48, hated the way FIFA handled his country before the event, while Bebeto, 50, “shrugged off criticism” of FIFA.

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Romario, 48, scored 55 times in 70 caps for Brazil while Bebeto, 50, wasn’t too shabby, either, scoring 39 times in 75 caps.

From the Associated Press:

Romario received more than 4.5 million votes in Rio de Janeiro, the most ever in the state. He had 63 percent of the total, ahead of former Rio mayor Cesar Maia, his closest contender with 20 percent.

Romario was an active congressman the past four years, a fierce critic of the money spent on the World Cup. He has a daughter with a disability, and one of his main causes was to improve conditions for the disabled.

He’s now a senator in Rio de Janeiro, while Bebeto was re-elected as a state deputy according to the BBC.

Their participation in politics is in stark contrast to Pele, who has stepped away from working with politicians in his home nation.