Zico the replacement for the world renowned Pele

The 1970 World Cup win was to be the swansong of Pele one of the greatest talents to grace the football stage. At the time there was a question as to what Brazil would be without him but they soon had an answer in the form of Arthur Antunes Coimbra or Zico, meaning little Arthur, as he is better known. Zico was a midfield playmaker his passing releasing the strikers to run and score in Brazil’s typical fluid style. Not only that, he was able to defy the rules of science and trajectory when it came to free kicks. The man seemed able to literally bend the path of the ball around the wall, passed the keeper and into the back of the net. He wore the golden rule and dark blue of the Brazilian kit with pride. If you looking for Discount Football Kits to make your team shine then a visit to a site like https://www.kitking.co.uk/ would be a very good idea.

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The man that would take over Pele’s number 10 was born into much better, but not much better, circumstances. He was a lower middle class boy on the streets of Rio. Like just about every other boy in Brazil he dreamed about escaping via football and he was soon generating local interest that he might be something a bit special. He would show off his skills to neighbours and excelling at futsal, as Pele had done where he learnt speed and skill. As a slight boy he was picked up by his PE teacher as needing to develop muscle mass. He was put on a programme of hard work and a diet to match that saw him increase in size and be more athletic. Without the vision of Jose Roberto Francalacci Zico’s career would have been finished or thwarted before it had begun.

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His first taste of the big game arena came with Flamengo starting in 1971 and continuing until 1983. He started out as the 18 year and would spend the next twelve years covering the Flamengo team in glory, they won championships and the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League. At the age of 30 when many players are thinking of slowing down he finally thought about answering the call to play in Europe.

He could have gone to AS Roma or even A.C. Milan but he opted for the less than fashionable Udinese. As with many South Americans his career was not as successful as in his home continent but in his two years at Udinese he scored 22 times in 39 appearances so a pretty good return. Most of those were from stunning free kicks that had experts pondering just how a goal keeper was supposed to stop them.