Hampered firstly by a weak build, secondly by the awkward nickname as the “White Pelé”, and thirdly by an injury during his third and last World Cup, Zico has still attracted the attention of international fans for more than twenty years due to to his fakes, the assists, sprints and free kicks. He is a real hero for many young players, including Baggio. Playing in number 10 shirt by vocation rather than by choice, Zico started his career playing for Flamenco in Rio de Janeiro, thus winning three championships, a Libertadores Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.
Having been humiliated along with his country’s national team by Rossi’s hat-trick in 1982 World Cup, Zico made a surprise move to Udinese despite a vague interest shown by AC Milan. In the 1983/1984 championship, Zico hit a still unbeaten record scoring the highest number of goals (19) as a foreign forward making his debut in Italy’s Serie A. He even succeeded in making rival fans applaud him, from Genoa (where he made his official debut scoring two goals) to Catania. He won over the hearts of Friuli and of his people, who dedicated to him a fan club whose banner can be still seen at the stadium today, more than twenty years after his retirement.
Even if it was shorter than expected, Zico’s experience in Italy made him relive the history of many other well-known champions who left South America for Europe. Zico, however, went further. After winning another championship with Flamengo, he ended his playing career for Kashima Antlers in Japan in 1994 where he accomplished his greatest feat: “the goal of the scorpion”. In so doing, he became the only champion to play in three different continents. Zico stayed on with the Kashima Antlers to become their technical advisor and general manager, splitting his time between Japan and Brazil. The following year he founded CFZ (Zico Football Centre) in Brazil. In 2002 he signed onto become Japan’s National Coach.
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.33 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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