The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, has declared an official seven-day mourning following the death of football legend Mario Zagallo.
Zagallo, the only four-time world champion, as a player and then as a coach, died on Friday at the age of 92. “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our eternal four-time world champion Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo,” read the brief statement on Zagallo's official Instagram account.
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“A devoted father, a loving grandfather, a caring father-in-law, a loyal friend, a successful professional and a great human being. A great idol. A patriot who leaves us a legacy of great achievements,” adds the official press release.
Zagallo, who participated in four of Brazil's five World Cups - two titles as a player and two as a coach and assistant coach - was hospitalized in August in Rio de Janeiro for a urinary infection.
But the former Seleçao player had recently had other health problems. After Pelé's death in December 2022, he was hospitalized for almost two weeks with a respiratory infection.
As a left winger, Zagallo was part of the Brazilian team that won the 1958 and 1962 World Cups, with King Pelé, the first two won by Brazil.
He was also coach of Brazil when it won the top title in 1970, assistant coach during the Seleçao's triumph in 1994 and coach in 1998 when Brazil lost the final to France. The only two other athletes to have won the World Cup as a player and coach are German Franz Beckenbauer (1974 and 1990) and French Didier Deschamps (1998 and 2018).