San Marino's Murata target Romario for UCL

July 7, 2008

MILAN, July 7 (Reuters) - San Marino champions S.S. Murata said on Monday they were hoping to coax former Brazil striker Romario out of retirement for their Champions League first qualifying round tie this month.

Murata, who have won back-to-back doubles in the tiny republic on the Italian peninsula, host Sweden's Gothenburg in the first leg on Tuesday.

'The chances of seeing Romario in our jersey are around 70 percent,' Murata's sporting director Denis Casadei told Italy's ANSA news service.

Romario, 42, announced his retirement in April, ending a controversial career in which he claimed to have scored more than 1,000 goals.

Murata recruited fellow Brazilian World Cup winner Aldair for last year's Champions League campaign and the 42-year-old former AS Roma defender is poised to turn out again against the Swedes.

Casadei also had the idea of asking retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher to play for his team but the move looks unlikely.

'Schumacher is a lot more difficult. To say the opposite would suggest we only wanted publicity. Instead what interests us is what happens on the pitch and Romario seems to us to be a great reinforcement,' he said.

'We shouldn't forget Aldair, who will be with us for the second consecutive year.'