Zico, born Artur Antunes Coimbra at Rio in 1953, was
the youngest of five footballing brothers. He made his
league debut for Flamengo in 1973 and his
international debut in 1976, against Uruguay, scoring
with one dead-ball shots for which he became famous.
Zico netted over 100 goals in his first two seasons
and was South American Player Of The Year in 1977 (and
in 1981 and 1982).
In the 1978 World Cup he suffered niggling injuries
and was unhappy with coach Claudio Coutinho's
defensive game. In 1982 however, Brazil returned to
the attacking style which suited Zico's change of
pace, body-swerves and dynamic shooting. His hat-trick
against Bolivia clinched a place in the 1982 finals
and in Spain his four goals, including the equallizer
against Scotland, took his total for Brazil past 50.
In 1983 after 650 goals and four Brazillian
championship medals, he made a £2.500.000 move to
Udinese, returning to Flamengo in the summer of 1985.
He played in three games in the 1986 World Cup, all as
a substitute. His last match was the quarter-final
against France when Brazillian fans chanted for him.
Alas, minutes later he missed a penalty. It was a sad
end for one of Brazil's most popular players of all
time. After 1047 senior games, including 71 for
Brazil, he eventually retired in 1990 and was
appointed his country's Sports Minister.