WORLD CUP : Legend

Zico (Brazil)

Zico, born Artur Antunes Coimbra at Rio in 1953, 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.

In 1982, 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 he netted four goals, including the equaliser against Scotland. In 1983 after 650 goals and four Brazillian championships, he made a 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, he missed a penalty and 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. Currently, he is in Japan as the national team coach.