Born : March 3, 1953, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Position : Attacking midfielder
Clubs : 1971-1983 Flamengo, 1983-1985 Udinese, 1985-1989 Flamengo,
1991-1994 Kashima Antlers
Teams managed : 2002-2006 Japan, 2006- Fenerbahçe SK
Brazilian Championship 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987
Libertadores Cup : 1981
Intercontinental Cup : 1981
J.League 1st Stage Championship : 1993
Personal Honours : 1974 Brazilian Footballer of the Year,
1977, 1981, 1982 South American Footballer of the Year,
1982 World Cup Bronze Boot, 1983 World Soccer Player of the Year
Arthur Antunes Coimbra (born in March 3, 1953), better known as Zico, is a former Brazilian footballer, one of the best midfielders in the world and possibly the world's best player in the early 80's.
Zico represented Brazil in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, and scored 66 goals in 88 matches for Brazil. He was chosen 1983 Player of the Year and is considered one of the best players in football history to have never won the World Cup. He was Brazil's top scorer in their 1982 FIFA World Cup campaign, on a team considered one of the best Brazilian national squads ever.
Zico came from a lower-middle-class family, in the suburbs of Quintino, Rio de Janeiro. In common with many Brazilians, he spent much of his youth dreaming of playing professional football. While still a teenager, he caught the attention of the radio reporter Celso Garcia who took him to a trial at Flamengo, beginning his path towards being one of the most admired players in history of the sport.
Physically Zico was not strong, and his history of determination and discipline began with a hard muscle and body development program. A combination of hard work and also a special diet sponsored by his team enabled him to develop a strong body and become an athlete. This later proved to be essential for his success.
While at Flamengo, Zico was a key player during the most glorious period of the team's history. Along with many other titles, in his first period at Flamengo he led the team to victory in the 1981 Copa Libertadores, the 1981 Intercontinental Cup, and four national titles (1980/82/83/87). On the field, Zico made goals in all imaginable ways, was also a great assister and team organizer, and was known for his excellent vision of the field. He was a two-footed player and an expert at free kicks.
In a multi-million dollar transaction, he was hired to play for Udinese, in Italy, from 1983 to 1985. In the 1983-84 Italian League season, Zico scored 19 goals
Ultimately Udinese failed to win any relevant competition and Zico eventually went back to Brazil and Flamengo, sponsored by a group of companies.
On his return, he suffered a knee injury after a violent tackle from defender Marcio Nunes, which interrupted his career for several months. He played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup while still injured. Recovered from injuries, things improved for Zico in 1987 when he led Flamengo to their fourth national title.
In December 1989 Zico made his last official appearance for Flamengo in a Brazilian National Championship match against rivals Fluminense.
After Brazil's first presidential election in many years, the new president appointed Zico as his Minister of Sports. Zico stayed at this political assignment for about a year.
Zico interrupted his political assignment to when he accepted the offer to join the Sumitomo Metal Industries Soccer Club in Kashima, Japan.
His discipline, talent and professionalism meshed very well with Japanese culture, and his influence earned him the nickname, "God of Soccer" from Japanese soccer fans.
Zico retired from professional football during the 1994 season but received an invitation to play Beach Soccer. He returned to Kashima to become the Antlers' technical adviser in 1995, splitting his time between Japan and Brazil - where he still managed to find time to play Beach Soccer. By this time, he was a local legend in Japan for having built a contender from almost nothing and putting the city of Kashima on the map. A statue in his honor stands outside Kashima Stadium.
After the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Japan Football Association looked for a replacement for the outgoing P. Troussier, and chose Zico as his successor. Despite his lack of coaching experience besides his stint as Brazil's technical coordinator during the 1998 World Cup, Zico had great understanding of Japanese soccer from his playing days and his role as Kashima's technical director.
He won the 2004 Asian Cup despite intimidation from Chinese fans and a team that featured just one European-based player, Shunsuke Nakamura. He then helped Japan qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with just one loss.
However, Japan failed to win a single match at the Finals. He resigned from Japan at the end of the World Cup campaign.
In July 2006, signed a two-year deal with Fenerbahçe SK
He won the league title in 2007 and won Turkish Super Cup on the first year of his job. Under his command Fenerbahçe has qualified from [[ UEFA Champions League 2007-08 groups stage for the first time of club's history and beat Sevilla FC to become a |quarter-finalist in 2007-08 season