One of Brazil's biggest footballing legends is leading a corruption investigation into the 2014 World Cup

Romario of Brazil holds the trophy aloft after the World Cup final against Italy at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, California, USA. Brazil won the match 3-2 on penalties. Simon Bruty/Allsport/GettyRomario holds the trophy aloft after Brazil’s World Cup final victory against Italy at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. Brazil won the match 3-2 on penalties.

Brazil on Sunday opened an inquiry into allegations of corruption at the World Cup it hosted last year, and the man spearheading the investigation is a World Cup winner himself, the Financial Times reports.

Romario helped lead Brazil to victory in the 1994 World Cup in the United States, winning the Golden Ball award for best player and scoring five goals along the way.

The former Barcelona striker, nicknamed “Shorty” in his playing days for his 5ft 6in stature, is seen as one of the greatest players in modern football, coming 5th in FIFA’s online Player of the Century poll back in 1999.

These days, however, he’s more concerned with politics. He was elected to Brazil’s senate in 2010 on a socialist ticket and since taking office he’s been a vocal critic of FIFA.

He’s also heavily criticised last year’s Brazilian World Cup, calling it the “lie cup” and blasting Brazil’s football federation in the press. Romario believes hosting the Cup was a waste of money as well as a corrupt exercise.

Now in the wake of FIFA corruption arrests last week, he led the effort to open a congressional inquiry into allegations of corruptions at the Brazilian World Cup last year, the FT writes.

At his height in the 1990s, Romario was as renowned for his ego and social life as he was for his skills on the pitch. Memorable Romario quotes include: “The day I was born, God laid eyes on me and said: ‘That’s the man.'” and “I’m like money, at the end of the day everybody quite likes me.”

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