BOGOTA – Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo holds records that will likely never be broken, winning the FIFA World Cup twice as both a player and coach with Brazil.
Zagallo has been a force in Brazilian soccer since his playing days.
The 86-year-old Zagallo was a member of Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 championship teams, and he was the manager of the national team that won the World Cup in 1970.
In 1994, Zagallo was an assistant manager on the squad that won the championship.
Four years later, Zagallo was once again in charge of the national team, leading Brazil all the way to the final in France.
Zagallo coached a highly talented team that included star forward Ronaldo Nazario de Lima and appeared headed for another title.
Ronaldo, however, became ill with a mysterious illness the night before the final and France pulled off a 3-0 win over Brazil.
Zagallo, born in the city of Maceio, was the go-to man in Brazilian soccer.
“If you want something to work out right, call Zagallo,” the saying went.
Zagallo hung up his cleats at age 34 in 1965, turning to coaching in the sport he loves.
The soccer legend coached clubs in Brazil and the national teams of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Zagallo’s friend and assistant coach on the 1970 World Cup champions, Carlos Alberto Parreira, asked the soccer legend to be his second-in-command for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
That team, stocked with stars like Romario, Bebeto, Dunga and goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel, won Brazil’s fourth World Cup.
Zagallo worked with national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in preparing the players for the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, helping motivate the squad.
The 2002 World Cup had a happy ending for Brazil, with the national team winning its record fifth championship.
Once again, people said, “If you want something to work out right, call Zagallo.”