Túlio Maravilha (43, Botafogo) scores his 994th & 995th goals (by his count)

Brazilian cult hero Túlio Maravilha edged ever closer to his dream of 1,000 career goals with a brace of penalties against Rio Branco in Botafogo’s pre-season friendly on Friday, taking him to 995.

Túlio Maravilha is quite the character.

He claims to be the ‘highest scoring player in activity in world football’, having amassed the above total in a vagabond’s career spanning 25 years, 37 clubs and some 48 moves (he’s played for several more than once).

Ever since his 100th goal, he’s been obsessed with reaching the 1,000 mark, and is known to have had ticker signs in his home counting down to the dream target.

At the tender age of 43 and a half,  Túlio has his sights set on the 1,000 milestone before retiring into the sunset.

Botafogo, with whom he’s most synonymous after three spells, have taken mercy and saved him from the obscurity of the lower leagues by giving him one last shot at the Big Leagues – the Brasileirao Serie A.

Now, those familiar with Tulio will be aware that there’s a difference between say, Messi’s 91 goals in a calendar year and Tulio’s 995 career goals. Like compatriots Pele and Romario before him, he’s been a little creative in the calculation of his goals.

As is obvious from the clip below, he clearly counts every single game, be it a friendly, exhibition match, whatever. Unlike the Great pair he’s trying to emulate however, he’s cooked the books. Sion, for example, give him a mere 6 goals from his short spell with the Swiss club, while he’s given himself 40. Brazilian monthly Placar have consistently been way behind his own calculation, and today give him around 200 less than his 995.

As can also be seen in the clip below, there’s a bit of a circus surrounding the Tulio Show. You’ll also note he has no time for the Jogo Bonito. You don’t reach 995 career goals by faffing about with stepovers and rainbow flicks…

(The second clip shows one of Tulio’s many epic misses during the game, while the third shows Tulio leading the Botafogo prayer huddle, and thanking the club and God for this final chance at glory.)