Zico Biography

by poonam bisht

Download match schedule for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in PDF, XLS and DOC formats. Download Download xls Download doc Name Zico (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Attacking Midfielder) Born On 3rd…

Download match schedule for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil in PDF, XLS and DOC formats.

Name Zico (Arthur Antunes Coimbra) (Attacking Midfielder)
Born On 3rd March, 1953
Played For Clubs: Flamengo, Udinese, Kashima Antlers
Team Brazil National Football Team
World Cup Played Played 1978 World Cup
Played 1982 World Cup
Played 1986 World Cup


Arthur Antunes Coimbra most popularly known as by the nickname Zico, is one of the most skilled finishers and passers in the history of football. Zico who is often called “White Pele”, is one of the best attacking midfielders who emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is the fourth highest goal scorer for the Brazilian national team and was placed eighth in the Player of the century poll. He is still training the players, the skills he learned throughout his life.


Born on 3rd March 1953 in the neighborhood of Quintino Bocaiuva, Rio de Janeiro, Zico was brought up in lower-middle class family of Portuguese origin. As it was common in many of the young Brazilians to become a professional footballer, Zico was one of them. He was often a non-attender at the classes due to his passion for football. At an early age he began to play for Juventude, a local futsal street team and became quite popular in his locality where people gather to watch his performance against older children and teenagers.

His brothers Antunes and Edu were professional football players at America Football Club (RJ) where at 14 years of age Zico had a scheduled trial. But once during a River match he surprised the onlookers and especially caught attention of radio reporter Celso Garcia by scoring 9 goals. Celso recommended Zico’s father to take him to a trial at Flamengo Club, which was his favorite football club. He then joined the club and began to write the success story of his football career. Though he was not a physically strong person, but his sheer determination and disciplined body development program made him become a solid athlete later in his life. He shifted several times to professional team and back to youth team again but wasn’t promoted to the senior team of Flamengo until he played 116 matches scoring 81 goals for the youth side.

He played for Flamengo for 12 years and then he started getting offers from several big European names like AS Roma and AC Milan but he opted for Udinese Calcio who gave him multi-million dollar proposal. Despite his excellent performance in the club, he was unable to help the team win any title in his two year term there. He played 1983-84 season and the following season, he was affected by injury problems and many times suspensions for openly attacking referees. He came back to Flamengo and played for four years and then switched to Kashima Athens club in 1991. Zico took retirement from professional football in 1994 and began his next phase of career in coaching several teams. He is currently active in managing football division of Al-Gharafa Sports Club.


Zico, the free kick specialists was known for his ability to bend the ball in the all the directions with speed. He represented Brazil in three world cups 1978, 1982 and 1986. The 1982 squad is also considered the best squad of all times. He is also the fourth highest scorer for Brazil national football team, scoring a total of 48 goals in just 71 appearances. Under Flamengo club, he appeared 731 times, the 2nd most appearances and scored a total of 508 goals making himself the highest goal scorer for the club. Under the same club, he won Rio State Championship seven times, Brazilian Serie A four times, Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup one time each in 1981. Under Kashima Antlers, his talent, discipline and professional attitude got immense admiration from Japanese fans who gave him nickname of “God of Soccer”. He won J.League title there in 1993.

He was named in the 125 greatest living footballers of all time, a list compiled by Brazilian legend Pele. Besides being placed at eighth position in the player of the century poll, he was chosen World Cup player of the year twice in 1981 and 1983. He was inducted in FIFA 100 and FIFA Hall of Fame in the year 2004, named 10th Greatest Footballer of All Time by World Soccer Magazine (England) and several other honors during and after his professional career. Likewise his football talent, he earned fame in his coaching career. He coached the Japanese team that appeared in the World Football Cup 2006 and that also won Asian Cup title 2004.


Zico is married to Sandra Carvalho de Sa and has three sons named Arthur Jr, Thiago and Bruno. He was once appointed as the Minister of Sports by Fernando Collor de Mello where he performed his duties for one year. Brazilian singer Jorge Benjor, who was greatly inspired from his achievements, wrote a song in his honor “Camisa 10 da G’vea”. As he was a star in Japan, a statue stands outside Kashima Soccer Stadium which is made for the achievements he earned while playing in the country. In 1999, he founded the Zico Football Centre (CFZ) in Rio de Janeiro and a branch of it named CFZ de Brasilia in 1999.


Zico with his true talent and disciplined professional football career, has inspired millions of players across the world and continues to teach football skills as one of the finest coaches worldwide.

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