Football in Brazil far transcends the definition of sport. It flows out of every home into alleys and yards of all shapes and sizes and culminates into legends that are recorded in the scrolls of history. The creative and distinct style of the football players of ‘o País do Futebol’ permeates the culture and history of the nation with entire traditions and sectors dedicated to the sport. Of the priceless talents Brazil has produced over time, Zico counts among the greatest. With 71 appearances and 48 goals for Brazil, Zico is undoubtedly one of the favourites of football lovers in football, who by the way is everyone there.
Zico Is One of the Best Players Brazil Ever Produced
His own physique – his lack of physical strength – became the first hurdle in his path to the top of the soccer world. His athletic poise and strong body are a result of special diet and hard work that made a major part of his early development as a player. The midfield attacker impressed the coaches from quite early on but took some time to secure his position in the professional team because of young age.
Zico started his professional club career with Flamengo
Zico started his professional club career with Flamengo where he led his team to glorious heights. In his first term from 1971 to 1983, the side won four national titles apart from the 1981 Intercontinental Cup and Copa Libertadores of the same year. By the end of his second term with Flamengo, Zico had become the top most scorer of the club ever. His short Italian career with the club Udinese also reflected the immense amount of talent the player possessed although the team failed to benefit much from the prodigy. In 1982-83 season, he scored 19 goals which is one less than the top scorer, his French counterpart Platini. By the time the season ended, World Soccer Magazine had named him Player of the Year 1983.
Zico was no less renowned in Japan
His association with Japan’s the Sumitomo Metal Industries Football Club, later renamed Kashima Antlers earned him the epithet – God of Soccer. Zico finished as the top scorer of Japan Soccer League in the season 1991-1992. Zico led Kashima Antlers to an unforeseen victory in J.League Suntory Series and to a runners-up position in the inaugural season.
Zico was celebrated for his creativity on the field and unsurpassable technical soundness. He was arguably the best player in the world in his time with his stupefying playmaking skills and speciality in free kicks. Zico shone throughout his international career, but unfortunately, couldn’t win his team any world cup title. ‘White Pelé’ as he was popularly called, Zico won Brazil a bronze medal at the 1978 FIFA World Cup and another bronze at the Copa America 1979. Zico, who also won the bronze boot at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, never failed to electrify the fans with his unbelievable bends which boggled the goalkeeper and resulted in unimaginable goals. The 1982 World Cup Brazilian squad, of which Zico formed an integral part, is considered by many among the greatest national squads ever.
Zico coached Japan to success
Even as a coach, Zico has helped Japan win the 2004 Asian Cup. He has also coached Fenerbahçe leading the team to quantifiable success. Other teams he has mentored include Iraq, Al-Gharafa, FC Goa, Bunyodkor, Olympiakos, and CSKA Moscow.
Zico has earned his spot among the world’s best finishers and with his splendid passing, has always given his team a lethal edge. A statue of Zico standing at the Kashima Soccer Stadium in Japan speaks volumes about his influence upon Japanese football lovers and his contribution to the nation’s soccer culture. This two-legged player has left an inimitable legacy and has inspired countless football players in Brazil as well as the whole world. Pelé, who is considered the world’s best football player ever, regarded Zico to be the one player who came closest to matching his skills.