The former left, former coach and former coach, born August 9, 1931 in the impoverished state of Alagoas, was crowned champion as a player in the World Cup finals in Sweden 1958 and Chile 1962, as coach in Mexico in 1970 and as technical coordinator in the United States in 1994.
Secluded in his Rio de Janeiro apartment since leaving professional football in 2007, Zagallo, who started his career as a player for America in 1950, has been keeping an eye on social media, where he often recalls some of his exploits.
And in the last video he posted on Instagram, on July 10, he recommended the “Hospice” to the Brazilians who arrived in Argentina in the Copa America final, in which Lionel Messi won his first title with his country.
A month ago, when he had to make his mark again at the Maracana Walk of Fame, he mentioned in an Instagram video that he made his debut as a Canarinha player in 1958 at the legendary stadium in the Brazil-Paraguay match before 200,000 spectators. In the goal that “in addition to running my head at work, I scored two goals.”
But Zagallo already knows the Maracana. A conscript in the army, he was among the witnesses to the historic defeat Brazil suffered against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup Final.
The one who was known as “Forminha” (the little ant) when he was a player and “the old wolf” as a coach is still today the most successful and longest serving coach in Brazil, a position he held in both 1970, 1974 and 1998. He was also the coordinator The coach of the team in 1994 and 2006.
This allowed him to reach another unbeaten record: the only one in the world to reach five World Cup finals in his seven matches. The only final match he lost, of the five he lost, was the 1998 World Cup in France, where the host nation beat Brazil.
In addition to world titles, he has won two FIFA Confederations Cups (1997 and 2005), two America’s Cups (1997 and 2004), and a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in his coaching resume. From Atlanta 1996.
His numbers as coach Canarinha are still unbeatable: 99 wins, 26 draws, only 10 defeats in 135 matches with the first team, 14 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses with the Olympic.
Another sign of his signs was remembered last month when Brazil lost the Copa America final to Argentina. This setback prevented the current Brazilian coach, Tite, who has achieved 9 wins and 3 draws in the Copa America matches, from overtaking Zagallo as the Brazilian coach with the most defeats in the continental championship.
El Viejo Lobo maintains this mark firmly thanks to the fact that he has a run of 9 wins and 2 draws in Copa America matches.
Tite also failed to surpass Zagallo’s mark as a Brazilian coach with the most consecutive wins (14).
Zagallo began his career as a coach in 1966, shortly after retiring as a footballer, winning titles with the big four clubs in Rio de Janeiro: Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama. He also led Bango, Portuguesa and the Saudi Crescent.
As a coach he was not only for Brazil but also for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
As a player he started his fame in Flamengo (1951-1958), where he won three titles in Rio, but established himself in Botafogo alongside idols such as Garrincha, Didi and Nilton Santos.
Last year, as the fiftieth anniversary of the 1970 World Cup was celebrated in Mexico, Tite, in an open letter, highlighted the leadership and charisma of his predecessor.
“Zagallo is responsible for adapting the team to the best athletes, empowering them individually and collectively as a team. Old Wolf has been modern since 1970,” he said.
And Tite added: “He was more than once endowed with great wisdom, sensitive to give me courage, and at the same time humble in human treatment. Zagallo knows that the master does not teach but inspires,” added Titi, remembering that he had already asked the old man’s advice. the wolf.