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Mario Zagallo dead: Legendary Brazilian footballer and manager who won record four World Cups dies age 92

BRAZILIAN football legend Mario Zagallo has died aged 92.

The former player, a record four-time World Cup winner with his titles as a manager included, passed away on Friday after a period of ill health.

Mario Zagallo has passed away aged 92

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Mario Zagallo has passed away aged 92Credit: AP
The late Zagallo won an unprecedent four World Cups with Brazil

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The late Zagallo won an unprecedent four World Cups with BrazilCredit: AFP
Zagallo also coached his beloved Brazil at the 1998 World Cup

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Zagallo also coached his beloved Brazil at the 1998 World CupCredit: AFP

He had been admitted to Barra D’Or Hospital in Rio de Janeiro on Boxing Day after a previous 20-day stay in September for a urinary infection.

The ex-Brazil international, who also holds the record for World Cup finals apperances with six participations, reportedly suffered multi-organ failure.

He became the last surviving Brazilian player from the 1958 World Cup final following Pele’s death last December.

Zagallo was the first of three men, along with Germany‘s Franz Beckenbauer and France‘s Didier Deschamps, to win the World Cup as a player and as a manager and the only one who has done it more than twice.

The death of the diminutive left winger and inside forward, who was capped 33 times by his country, was confirmed on his official Instagram page.

A statement posted in the early hours of this morning, alongside a photo of him holding a replica of the World Cup in his right arm, said: “It is with great regret that we announce the passing of our eternal world champion Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo.

“A devoted father, loving grandfather, caring father-in-law, faithful friend, victorious professional and a great human being. Giant idol.

“A patriot who leaves us a legacy of great achievements.

Mario Zagallo was team-mates and friends with the late Pele

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Mario Zagallo was team-mates and friends with the late PeleCredit: AP

“We thank God for the time we were able to spend with you and we ask the Father that we find comfort in the good memories and the great example you leave us.”

Zagallo, nicknamed the ‘Old Wolf’ in reference to one of his surnames – although he was also called ‘The Professor’ by his players throughout his coaching career – was working as a soldier at the famous Maracana Stadium when Uruguay defeated Brazil in the 1950 World Cup.

He won the World Cup as a player in 1958, when he was with Flamengo, and in 1962 when was plying his trade with Botafogo.

He went on to win the 1970 World Cup as a manager and in 1994 as an assistant manager.

He also coached Brazil in 1974 when they finished fourth and in 1998 when they were runners-up.

Ednaldo Rodrigues, the recently-reinstated president of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF), said: “The CBF and Brazilian football mourn the death of one of its greatest legends, Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo.

“CBF offers solidarity to his family and fans in this moment of sadness at the departure of this idol of our football.”

Mario Zagallo reportedly passed away following multiple organ failure

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Mario Zagallo reportedly passed away following multiple organ failureCredit: AFP
The late Zagallo is survived by his four children

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The late Zagallo is survived by his four childrenCredit: GETTY

Botafogo said in a tweet titled: ‘Thank you Zagallo: “It is with immense regret and deep sadness that we received the news of the passing of Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo, our Zagallo.

“Botafogo regrets the departure of one of its greatest idols, a champion as a player and coach, with a successful and notable CV in the sport, a true legend of Brazilian football. We wish strength to family, friends and fans.

“His legacy here and in football will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, old wolf!”

Zagallo had four children with his wife Alcina de Castro Zagallo, who died aged 80 in 2012 following respiratory problems.

The couple were married for 57 years.

The highly-superstitious former footballer had an obsession with the number 13.

He changed his shirt number from 11 to 13, lived on the 13th floor of an apartment block in Rio de Janeiro and drove a car with the number plate 1313.

Zagallo, assistant coach to Carlos Alberto Parreira when Brazil won the 1994 World Cup in the US, said in an interview shortly before the final: “I won for the first time in 1958.

“Five plus eight equals thirteen. I’m going to win in ’94. Nine and four are thirteen too.”

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