Arthur Antunes Coimbra, better known as Zico, a former football player that for many Brazilians was simply greater than Pele, spoke exclusively to Lucrecia Franco’s CCTV about the upcoming World Cup on home soil. Zico, who was part of the legendary 1982 Brazilian squad, feels Brazil can win its sixth trophy, but criticized the high costs of hosting the 2014 tournament.
Zico starred in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 Brazilian World Cup teams and remains the all-time scorer at the sacred Maracana stadium, with an impressive record of 337 goals in 435 games. He is often called the White Pele, a nickname that he never liked.
Considered one of the world’s best players of the late 70’s and 80’s , Zico, now 61 , is a well-known international coach and is back in Rio de Janeiro, his home town, after a brief period in Qatar. Brazil is where he wants to stay and watch the national team win its sixth World Cup.
Zico believes Brazil’s national team gained momentum after winning the Confederations Cup- a dry run for the World Cup- at home, last year. He thinks is a strong team and a victory is possible.
As well as the fact Zico doesn’t like being compared with Pele, he also doesn’t like comparing his generation playing style , that was known as the ” jogo bonito “- the beautiful game, with another player presently on Brazil’s squad but he admits there are big differences.
But everything has changed here in Brazil, not only football. The last Confederations Cup was marred by demonstrations against the government and the cost of the upcoming games. Brazilians are demanding improvements in health and education and have taken to the streets to protest against the government’s high spending on the football fiesta.