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Gender Male
Ethnic Brazilian
Job Brazilian Footballer
Desc The quality that separated Zico from the rest during the early 80s was his uncanny ability to create something from nothing. To find a pass that no one had even considered to be possible. To produce the unthinkable. That was Zico in a nutshell. A genius who was always five steps ahead of everyone else on the pitch.The Brazilian’s performance for Flamengo against Liverpool in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup in which he registered three magnificent assists is the perfect illustration of the sort of player he was


Org Brazil National Team
  Kashima Antlers
Club as Coach Fenerbahce
Club as Player Flamengo FC

1980 12 20 Retrieve

[Zico has a major muscle tear in his thigh. Zico’s eyes were still red, not from pain but from his tears of disappointment] The trainer gilberto tim is not to blame. He did not push me hard in training. They say he pushes players beyond their physical capacity butt this is not true, this a reoccurance of the injury i felt in the rio championship. I regret having to miss the mundialito, the stage was set. I felt me and socrates had a rapport that was something real and the goals were starting to emerge. But i want to be ready for the world cup qualifiers and i will be. I’ve cried alot and i do not hide this. To be plucked from the team so suddenly and so violently is cruel but i hope to travel with the team and offer my support. Brazil will still be well prepared for the mundialito without me and i will cheer from the sidelines

2009 02 24 Retrieve

[Zico criticised [Martin O’Neill](martin-o-neill.html)’s men for being over-reliant on fleet-footed winger Ashley Young and their perceived refusal to play the ball on the ground] We were not surprised by the way Villa played. It was very seldom they had the ball on the ground making passes. They get Ashley Young to put the ball into the box a lot. We expected this sort of game and we were ready for it

2014 02 15 Retrieve

[Zico on the job done by Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira, and who he thinks will win the FIFA World Cup] They did an important thing - they got the Brazilian people back on side at the Confederations Cup. They created a style of play that brought the supporters back. I was able to see some games live, and we felt a rapport between the supporters and the national team that had been lost. If we don’t have [injury] problems with our key players, I think Brazil are one of the favourites. And our major rivals in my view will be Argentina, because they have Messi, and Uruguay, because they have three of the best forwards in the world. So I think the World Cup will stay here in the Americas

2015 12 21 Retrieve

[on Messi, Suarez, and Neymar] The trident is fantastic because they play as a team and suit each other perfectly

2017 05 23 Retrieve

[Zico on Vinicius Junior who just officially a Real Madrid player. The 16-year-old had moved from Flamengo for 45 million euros] We’ve got to be careful with him because there are big expectations of him and that could affect him. He’s 16, everyone’s putting pressure on him, saying that he has to play. Yes, that’s good in certain conditions, but we have to be calm and not think that he has to do the same as what he produced in the under-20 side. We can’t put him under pressure

If the boy plays with the first-team and is of an age to play at a younger level, so he needs to play with the same desire in the reserves. He can’t think that he’s already a professional. That happened with me and I played with the same desire in the second string. Rafinha, Thomas, Lorran, Muralha and Adryan were a few who fell away because of that. They were promoted very quickly and when they went back to the second team they didn’t know how to control themselves. You need to have a good head and be careful

2017 12 30 Retrieve

[Zico gives his thoughts on the current national team under the management of coach Tite] We know how difficult it is to win a championship [World Cup], but Brazil are prepared. I have faith that Brazil will reach the final because, aside from being a great team, they are on the correct path. You see a squad where there are no complaints such as: ‘That was unfair, the other player was supposed to play, etc’. In previous World Cups, you used to see these kinds of things. You don’t see this in Tite’s squad because the staff are very well prepared, they are involved, they go to lots of matches, they watch the players, they value the Brazil-based players and this motivates competition. I’m happy with what’s going on concerning the Brazil national team. The draw Brazil had … everybody who goes to a World Cup must know that there’s no easy group. Obviously, Brazil are at a higher level in comparison to Switzerland, Serbia, and Costa Rica. But Brazil still have to pay attention, be serious above all things, and respectful so that they can beat these opponents

2019 01 05 Retrieve

[Zico compares Lionel Messi with Diego Maradona and Pele] (Lionel) Messi is close to Maradona. That means, in my opinion, he can’t be compared to Pele. I still consider Maradona in front of Messi. With Pele, no. Pele has all the qualities and characteristic that a football player has to have. When God created him [Pele], he put every quality a footballer needs; speed, strength, impulse, technique, kicking ability, heading, dribbling - all of it, everything that a player might have. [Messi has] almost everything, but he doesn’t have the World Cup titles that Pele has. This [means] a lot

2019 06 13 Retrieve

[Zico pinpoints Lionel Messi as primary threat to Brazil’s hopes of winning Copa America] Messi’s condition has been improving recently. If he is in good form, they [Argentina] will be a really difficult opponent. It is not necessarily the fact that big players like Messi and Neymar make you win. It is more important to have strength as a team. Chile won the title in 2015 and 2016 back-to-back, and most of their players were playing as the main players at clubs in Europe and other countries abroad.

[Far more fresh in the memory is their humiliating exit from the 2014 World Cup, obliterated 7-1 by Germany in front of their own fans] When the tournament is held in your own country, the expectation of the nation is huge, but players can play with comfort. People don’t think it makes much of a difference, but it actually has a big impact. When you hear cheers at the moment you need a bit of a push, players can react to that and perform at their best

[Zico knows his country’s proud history as well as anyone] The history of Brazil goes from Pele to Garrincha, Didi, Tostao, Gerson, then to all of us who followed them. It’s so important to be chosen for the national team. For the Copa America, for the World Cup, or just friendly matches, it’s such an honour to reach that stage and be chosen for the team. People expect players to wear Brazil’s shirt, win the title with pride, and keep winning. You have to have the mental strength to get over this pressure

2019 07 09 Retrieve

[Selecao legend Zico thinks Lucas Paqueta has no shortage of potential] Paqueta is a small phenomenon. He managed not to be crushed by the comparison with Kaka, one of Milan’s legends. He has everything to become a top player quickly. He is a number 8, he is not an attacking midfielder. He likes to start from behind and gain momentum in the opponent’s penalty area. He can score lots of goals because he is also good with his head. Over time he can help Milan return to the fight for the Scudetto

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[In the Flamengo camp he was now the equal of Pele] There is no reason for me to be compared to Pele. He was the greatest […] I am Zico, only Zico.

2020 04 05 Retrieve

[Brazil great Zico says Neymar needs to match the professionalism of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi] I really like Ney, his way of playing is incredible. But he has to be more professional like Ronaldo and Messi, who live for football. Ney has too many thoughts that distract him. I spoke to him recently and asked him to be more professional. He is 28 years old now and there is a good team at PSG. They can win the Champions League. It will depend on his quality throughout the tournament, not just for one match. Now Ney has more experience and maturity