Former Brazilian footballer and legendary coach Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo passed away at the age of 92.
The news of his death was confirmed through an official Instagram post on Saturday. Zagallo, who played a pivotal role in Brazil’s football history, coached the 1970 Brazilian football team, widely considered one of the best in history.
The Instagram post read, “It is with great regret that we announce the passing of our eternal world champion Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo.
A devoted father, loving grandfather, caring father-in-law, faithful friend, victorious professional, and a great human being. Giant idol. A patriot who leaves us a legacy of great achievements.”
As a left-winger, Zagallo was part of the team that secured Brazil’s first World Cup in 1958 and was also in the squad that retained the title in 1962.
However, his coaching prowess came to the forefront as he led the 1970 team, featuring legends like Pele, Jairzinho, Rivellino, and Tostao, to Brazil’s third World Cup victory in Mexico.
Zagallo made history by becoming the first person in football to win a World Cup as a player and a manager. He also served as an assistant coach when Brazil clinched their fourth title in 1994 in the United States.
Known for his distinctive personality, unapologetic nationalism, and superstitions, Zagallo endeared himself to Brazilian fans.
He often expressed his belief that he was “born with victory at his side” and was never shy about challenging critics who accused his teams of being too defensive.
Zagallo’s impact on Brazilian football is remembered through phrases like “You’re going to have to put up with me!”—uttered after Brazil’s unexpected triumph in the 1997 Copa America in Bolivia.
The football legend married Alcina de Castro in 1955, and the couple remained together until she died in 2012.
His legacy as a player and coach continues to resonate, marking a significant chapter in the history of Brazilian football.