Arthur Antunes Coimbra

Legendary Brazil Footballer
  • Date of Birth
  • March 3, 1953
  • Place of Birth
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Height
  • 1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)
  • Playing Position
  • Attacking midfielder

Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Portuguese pronunciation: [aʁˈtuʁ ɐ̃ˈtũnis koˈĩbɾɐ], born 3 March 1953 in Rio de Janeiro), better known as Zico ([ˈziku]), is a Brazilian coach and former footballer. Often called the “White Pelé”, he was a creative player, gifted with excellent technical ability and vision, and he is considered one of the most skilled finishers and best passers ever. Arguably the world’s best player of the late 1970s and early 80s, he is regarded as one of the best playmakers and free kick specialists of all time, able to bend the ball in all directions. In 1999, Zico came eighth in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. According to Pelé, generally considered the best player ever, “throughout the years, the one player that came closest to me was Zico”.

With 48 goals in 71 official appearances for Brazil, Zico is the fourth highest goalscorer for his national team. He represented them in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups. They did not win any of those tournaments, even though the 1982 squad is considered one of the greatest Brazilian national squads ever. Zico is often considered one of the best players in football history not to have been on a World Cup winning squad. He was chosen 1981 and 1983 Player of the Year.

Zico has coached the Japanese national team, appearing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and winning the Asian Cup 2004, and Fenerbahçe, who were a quarter-finalist in 2007–08 in the Champions League under his command. He was announced as the head coach of CSKA Moscow in January 2009. On 16 September 2009, Zico was signed by Greek side Olympiacos for a two-year contract after the club’s previous coach, Temuri Ketsbaia, was sacked. He was fired four months later, on 19 January 2010.

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