Romario named as Vasco's interim coach

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 23 (Reuters) Former Brazil striker Romario, who has still not officially retired from playing, was named as interim coach of his club Vasco da Gama.

Romario, 41, was given the job hours after Celso Roth was fired following the team's slide down the Brazilian championship table.

''Vasco have only taken five points out of the last 30 so I had to do something,'' club president Eurico Miranda said yesterday in a radio interview. ''I spoke to Romario and he accepted the responsibility.'' Romario will take charge of tomorrow's match at home to Mexico's America in a Copa Sudamericana quarter-final second leg.

It was not immediately clear whether Romario, who this year scored what he claimed to be his 1,000th career goal, would pick himself for the game.

Although many people expected him to retire after scoring the landmark goal in May, Romario has recently begun training again after four months out of action with an ankle injury.

He was on the substitutes' bench for Vasco's last two games but did not play.

Vasco trail the Mexicans 2-0 in the tie. The Copa Sudamericana is the region's equivalent of the UEFA Cup.

Roth was the second coach to be fired by Vasco this year, following Renato Portaluppi in April.

REUTERS CS KN1124

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