Thursday, December 3, 2009


Zico, one of Brazil's best players of the early 1980's
Won 71 international caps between 1976-1989
Represented Brazil in 3 World Cups 1978, 1982, 1986
Sport, Football, pic: circa 1982
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Zico, born Arthur Antunes Coimbra at Rio in 1953, was the youngest of five footballing brothers. He made his league debut for Flamengo in 1973 and his international debut in 1976, against Uruguay, scoring with one dead-ball shots for which he became famous. Zico netted over 100 goals in his first two seasons and was South American Player Of The Year in 1977 (and in 1981 and 1982).
(Planet World Cup)
In the 1978 World Cup he suffered niggling injuries and was unhappy with coach Claudio Coutinho's defensive game. In 1982 however, Brazil returned to the attacking style which suited Zico's change of pace, body-swerves and dynamic shooting. His hat-trick against Bolivia clinched a place in the 1982 finals and in Spain his four goals, including the equallizer against Scotland, took his total for Brazil past 50. In 1983 after 650 goals and four Brazillian championship medals, he made a £2.500.000 move to Udinese, returning to Flamengo in the summer of 1985.
He played in three games in the 1986 World Cup, all as a substitute. His last match was the quarter-final against France when Brazillian fans chanted for him. Alas, minutes later he missed a penalty. It was a sad end for one of Brazil's most popular players of all time. After 1047 senior games, including 71 for Brazil, he eventually retired in 1990 and was appointed his country's Sports Minister.
(Planet World Cup)


Football, 1982 World Cup Finals
Brazil's Zico with the ball during a training session
Photos by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals, Seville, Spain
14th June, 1982, Brazil 2 v USSR 1
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals, Seville, Spain
14th June, 1982
Zico is challenged by USSR's captain Alexander Chivadze
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Football, 1982 World Cup Finals, Group F match
Seville, Spain, 18th June 1982
Brazil 4 v Scotland 1
Brazil's Zico plays the ball through to a teammate
Scotland's Alan Hansen can only watch
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Zico (C) of Brazil celebrates & team-mates Eder and Junior (R)
Brazil v New Zealand World Cup match
Seville, Spain on the 23rd June 1982
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Zico (R) of Brazil celebrates after scoring a goal
Brazil v New Zealand World Cup match
Seville, Spain on the 23rd June 1982
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals Second Phase
Barcelona, Spain 2nd July, 1982
Brazil 3 v Argentina 1
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals, Second Phase
Barcelona, Spain, 2nd July, 1982
Brazil 3 v Argentina 1
Brazil's Zico is challenged by Argentina's Juan Barbas
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals, Second Phase
Barcelona, Spain, 2nd July, 1982
Brazil 3 v Argentina 1
Argentina's Daniel Passarella is tackled by Brazil's Zico
Socrates (L) and Osvaldo Ardiles (R) look on
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

1982 World Cup Finals, Second Phase
Barcelona, Spain, 5th July, 1982
Italy 3 v Brazil 2
Italy's Marco Tardelli is faced by Brazil's Zico
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Zico of Brazil and Claudio of Italy
Image from

Zico and Socrates
FIFA World Cup 1982
Image from

1986 World Cup Finals, Guadalajara, Mexico
12th June, 1986, Brazil 3 v Northern Ireland 0
Brazil's Zico challenges Northern Ireland's Jimmy Nicholl
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

From Eu sou Flamengo

Zico is arguably the greatest footballer to never win a World Cup and quite simply one of the greatest attacking midfielders to pull on a pair of football boots. Despite the national team's failures in 1978, '82 and '86, Zico's style, confidence and breath-taking free-kicks maintained the hereditary line of golden football greatness.
Often called the White Pelé, he is commonly considered one of the most skilled dribblers and finishers ever and possibly the world’s best player of the early 80’s. He was also known as one of history’s greatest free kick specialists, able to bend the ball with pace and accuracy as well as having an extremely powerful shot.

Zico is the greater scorer on Flamengo's history, with 508 goals on 731 games. He is the idol of a nation of more than 35 million fans all around the Brazilian country. He scored 333 times on Maracanã, a record not yet broken by any other player. He took over Italy during the two seasons that played for Udinese, leaving a flavor of the Brazilian spice on the traditional Italian macaroni. In Japan, he is admired by people that never get tired of rendering him honors for all the things he did for soccer on the land of the rising sun. The Japanese fans made a carnival out of his definitive farewell game (1994), building two statues for him. And the emperor himself gave him a medal for all he did on the country's benefit. The most important demonstration of trust, however, happened when they gave him the harsh mission of leading the national team on their quest for a place on the 2006 World Cup. During his years as a soccer player, Zico also achieved a notable level of reverence on countries where he played, such as France and Spain.
(Zico Participações)
It is not possible to precise the exact moment that a man turns into an idol, when it happens naturally, with no influence of image building resources. Zico is a true old-fashioned kind of example, once it all started from the cozy neighborhood of Quintino, by the feet of a gifted boy, filled with love for soccer, respect, discipline and lots of courage. Just to mention some of the mix main ingredients. Nothing artificial or built up.
During his childhood, his relation with the ball was already very affective. Zico used to sleep with it next to his pillow, treating it with a lot of tenderness. It could be just a ball made of socks or at a table soccer game, but his attentions were always focused on it. And on its turn, the ball never let him down. It learned to be always near his feet and to obey his will on the way to the goal.
(Zico Participações)


From Eu sou Flamengo
Zico's first memories of Maracanã date from April 23 of 1961, when he was only eight years old. And that day was marked by the beginning of the love affair between the all-star and the Temple of Soccer. Taken by his father to a game in which Flamengo ended up conquering the Rio-São Paulo tournament, the little Arthur could watch a very talented player called Edvaldo Alves de Santa Rosa, also known as Dida. Flamengo's number 10 scored twice for the championship and for the place of idol on Zico's heart. The little boy was completely fascinated. But there is also who swears that this love story started much earlier. "Di-Da" would have been one of the first words spoken by Zico, at the age of two.
With the same number 10 that once belonged to Dida, Zico surpassed the mark that once also belonged to his idol. He scored 333 times for Flamengo on the Temple of Soccer. He also scored six times on a match against Goytacaz, by the State Championship of 1979 (7 to 1), equaling the feat of the man that once inspired him.
Dida passed away at the age of 68. The testimony below, part of the biography 'Dida: Histories of a champion', written by his brother Luiz Alves, Gávea's number 10 during the fifties and sixties makes an affectionate analysis of the all-star, fan and friend:
"Some people relate Zico's fame to the idea that he was a pre-fabricated all-star, a lab product. But this is not true. What led Zico to a glorious career was his simplicity and, in a more significant level, his congenital technical qualities, attributes that no laboratory or machine could ever create. No machine could teach him the perfect shoots that became his trademark, and could not either tell him how to see the game from inside the field. No computer in this world, no matter how advanced it may be, would be able to teach him how to execute those perfect free kicks in a way that only he could ever do. Zico's extraordinary reflex is a natural born quality, something no laboratory could create. Zico is a much more complete player than I ever was… If I had such a firm kick, I would have gone much further in soccer"
(Zico Participações)



By futbolochentoso2 at photobucket
Zico came from a lower-middle-class family, in the neighborhood of Quintino, Rio de Janeiro. In common with many Brazilians, he spent much of his youth dreaming of playing professional football. In 1967, while still a teenager, he had a scheduled trial at América, where his brothers Antunes and Edu were playing at the time. But he caught the attention of the radio reporter and friend, Celso Garcia, who asked Zico's father to take him to a trial at Flamengo instead. Being a fan of Flamengo, Zico had his father approval, beginning his path towards being one of the most admired players in history of the sport.
Physically Zico was not strong, and his history of determination and discipline began with a hard muscle and body development program conducted by the Physical Education teacher José Roberto Francalacci. A combination of hard work and also a special diet sponsored by his team enabled him to develop a strong body and become an athlete. This later proved to be essential for his success.
In 1971, he had some appearances in the professional team but only one year later, after 116 matches and 81 goals in the youth team, Zico was promoted to Flamengo's professional squad.
While at Flamengo, Zico was a key player during the most glorious period of the team's history. Along with many other titles, in his first period at Flamengo he led the team to victory in the 1981 Copa Libertadores, the 1981 Intercontinental Cup, and four national titles (1980/82/83/87). On the field, Zico made goals in all imaginable ways, was also a great assister and team organizer, and was known for his excellent vision of the field. He was a two-footed player and an expert at free kicks.
(From Wikipedia)

Young Zico at Flamengo

Libertadores da América de 1981
From pontodvista.wordpress

In a multi-million dollar transaction, he was hired to play for Udinese, in Italy, from 1983 to 1985. Though leaving some Brazilian fans in sadness, he led Udinese to be among the best Italian teams. In Italy, Zico had personal disputes against Juventus's Michel Platini and Napoli's Diego Maradona. In the 1983-84 Italian League season, Zico scored 19 goals - one less than the championship top scorer Platini, having played 6 matches less than the French footballer.
Ultimately Udinese failed to win any relevant competition and Zico eventually went back to Brazil and Flamengo, sponsored by a group of companies.
(From Wikipedia)

Playing for UDINESE, Italy

Zico at UDINESE, 1983
Images from

Images from

With 731 matches for Flamengo, Zico is the player with the 2nd most appearances for the club. His 508 goals make him the club's top scorer ever. The achievements of the greatest idol in Flamengo's history inspired the Brazilian singer Jorge Benjor to write a song in his honour - Camisa 10 da Gávea - helping create the mystique of the club's number 10.
After Brazil's first presidential election in many years, the new president Fernando Collor de Mello appointed Zico as his Minister of Sports. Zico stayed at this political assignment for about a year and his most important contribution was a piece of legislation dealing with the business side of sport teams.
Zico interrupted his political assignment when he accepted the offer to join the Sumitomo Metal Industries Soccer Club in Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture to help the club secure a place in Japan's first professional soccer league that was set to launch in 1993. Zico played for Sumitomo in 1992, the last season before the old Japan Soccer League was disbanded and reformed as the fully professional J. League. When the new league launched, the small town club, renamed Kashima Antlers, was not expected to compete with richer, more glamorous clubs like Yokohama Marinos and Verdy Kawasaki. However, Zico helped the Antlers to a runners-up finish in its inaugural season and the club cemented its place among the league's elite.
(From Wikipedia)

By bulk665 at photobucket

Zico retired from professional football during the 1994 season but received an invitation to play Beach Soccer. He returned to Kashima to become the Antlers' technical adviser in 1995, splitting his time between Japan and Brazil - where he still managed to find time to play Beach Soccer. One year later, in 1996, he founded CFZ (Zico Football Centre) in Rio de Janeiro. By this time, he was a local legend in Japan for having built a contender from almost nothing and putting the city of Kashima on the map. A statue in his honor stands outside Kashima Stadium.
(From Wikipedia)

Zico, CSKA Moscow Coach
From NewsTime

1998 World Cup Finals, Marseille, France, Semi-Final
7th July, 1998, Brazil 1 v Holland 1
Brazil won 4-2 on penalties
Brazilian coach Mario Zagallo and his assistant coach Zico
Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

World Football Gala 1999

Club honours:
Rio State Championship 1972, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1979 (special), 1981, 1986
Brazilian Championship 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987
Libertadores Cup 1981
Intercontinental Cup 1981
J.League 1st Stage Championship 1993

International honours:
1978 FIFA World Cup: Third place
1982 FIFA World Cup: Round 2 (5th place)
1986 FIFA World Cup: Quarter-finals (5th place)

Individual honours:
1974 "Bola de Ouro" Brazilian Footballer of the Year Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1974 Silver Ball Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1974 - Set a goal record in a single season as a Flamengo player - 49 goals
1975 Rio State Championship Top Scorer - 30 goals
1975 Silver Ball Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1976 - Set a goal record in a single season as a Flamengo player - 56 goals
1977 Rio State Championship Top Scorer - 27 goals
1977 Silver Ball Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1977 South American Footballer of the Year - El Mundo (Venezuela)
1978 Rio State Championship Top Scorer - 19 goals
1979 Rio State Championship Top Scorer - 26 goals
1979 Rio State Championship Top Scorer(Special) - 34 goals
1980 Brazilian Championship Top Scorer - 21 goals
1981 Libertadores Cup Best Player
1981 Libertadores Cup Top Scorer - 11 goals
1981 Intercontinental Cup Best Player

1981 South American Footballer of the Year - El Mundo (Venezuela)
1981 World Footballer of the Year - Guerin Esportivo (Italy), El Mundo(Venezuela), El Balón (Spain), Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1982 Rio State Championship Top Scorer - 21 goals
1982 "Bola de Ouro" Brazilian Footballer of the Year Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1982 Silver Ball Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1982 Brazilian Championship Top Scorer - 21 goals
1982 Brazilian Top Scorer of the year - 59 goals
1982 World Cup bronze shoe
1982 World Cup All-Star Team player
1982 South American Footballer of the Year - El Mundo (Venezuela) - El Gráfico (Argentina), El Mundo (Venezuela)
1983 Player of the year World Soccer
1984 Premier (chevron[disambiguation needed]) Player of the Year Italian League 83/84
1984 Second highest scorer of the Italian League - 19 goals
1984 3rd Best Player of the Year - World Soccer Magazine
1987 Silver Ball Placar Magazine (Brazil)
1992 Japan Soccer League record for goals scored in consecutive matches - 11 goals in 10 straight matches
Top Scorer in Flamengo's history - 568 goals
Top Scorer in Maracanã Stadium's history - 333 goals
1999 3rd best Brazilian player of the 20th century
1999 IFFHS 7 Best player in South America in the 20th century
1999 IFFHS Players of the 20th century
France Football Players of the 20th century
World Soccer Players of the 20th century
FIFA 100
2000 Hall of the Fame FIFA
2006 Prize Golden Foot Award (Legend of Football)

Beach Soccer:
Beach Soccer World Championship 1995, 1996
American cup Beach Soccer 1995, 1996
1995 Beach Soccer World Championship Top Scorer - 12 goals
1995 Beach Soccer World Championship Best Player

Coaching career:
Japan 2002
Fenerbahçe, Turkey 2006-2008
Bunyodkor, Uzbekistan 2008
CSKA Moscow 2009
Olympiakos C.F.P, Grek 2009-2011

Honours as a manager:
Asian Cup 2004
Turkcell Super League 2006-07
Turkish Super Cup 2007
Uzbekistani Cup 2008
Uzbek League 2008
CSKA Moscow:
Russian Super Cup 2009
Russian Cup (football) 2008-09
(From Wikipedia)

The radio speaker Celso Garcia, a man that followed the all-star's entire career, speaks about Zico's consolidation as an idol:
"Zico never was concerned about becoming an idol and having a 'machine' working for him. On the opposite, he had to struggle a lot, scored many goals both in Rio and São Paulo, to silence the ones that insisted on the theory that he could play a good game only at Maracanã. He had to prove it every day and faced bad times due to these pressures. Never, in any time, he liked to be compared to Pelé, for example, and always recognized his place on the soccer world. He reached the top, first due to his capacity, showing that he was a real all-star; in second place, because he never was a trouble maker. He never claimed to receive a special treatment, like some today players. His claims were on the benefit of the athletes, he never wanted to be an exception. Zico was always disciplined and it gave him the necessary conditions for becoming an innate idol. He never wanted anything only for him, never was selfish. And also respected every opponent. Zico never celebrated mocking the opponent team's fans, his celebrations were always only aimed to his fans. Everybody admire him, because of behavior both inside and outside the game field. And it is impressive his patience with the people that ask him for photos and autographs, even this whole thing takes two, three or five hours. I think that it helps to explain how he is still an idol."
(Zico Participações)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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