MACEIO, Brazil, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Ronaldo
labelled his former Brazil striking partner Romario as pretentious on
Tuesday after the 1994 World Cup forward's description of himself as the
team's most important player in 34 years.
"I think it's very pretentious for a player to call himself the best,"
Ronaldo said. "I don't have this habit."
Romario, who scored five goals in 1994 as he led Brazil to their fourth
world title, sparked the controversy two weeks ago.
"This will probably cause another controversy and I'll probably get a
good hiding for saying it, but, yes I consider myself (to be the most
important since 1970)," he said at a news conference.
Ronaldo's reply came after the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF)
announced that he had overtaken Romario's total of 55 goals in full
internationals by scoring twice against Venezuela in a World Cup
qualifier last Saturday.
The CBF said that Ronaldo was now the team's second highest goal-scorer
with 56 and was closing on Pele's total of 77.
Zico is fourth with 52.
However, the CBF said the order changed when matches against club and
representative elevens -- which have often been used in the past as
official totals in Brazil -- were included.
Pele scored 95 goals in the latter category, followed by Romario (70),
Zico (67) and Ronaldo (65).
Ronaldo, who once caused controversy when he was quoted as saying that
Pele's total had to be revised downwards, said he was not obsessed with
reaching the legendary player's target.
"It's not my intention to be better than Pele," he said.
"I want to be Ronaldo. I just think about playing well and scoring goals."
"The numbers are there for whoever wants to analyse them," he said. "I
don't have the idea of being the best in the world."
Ronaldo is hoping to add to his total when Brazil face Colombia in
Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.
Brazil, unbeaten after nine games, lead the South American group with 19
points and Ronaldo is leading scorer with nine goals.
Ronaldo and Romario were set to play alongside each other in the 1998
World Cup but Romario was ruled out of the tournament with a nagging
calf muscle injury.
The 38-year-old Romario still plays for Fluminense and intends to end
his career next year.