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Breaking News: Mario Zagallo Brazil football legend & hero dies at 92

Brazilian football has lost one of its greatest legends, Mario Zagallo, who was a player and manager for Brazil, has passed away at the age of 92. Zagallo was a five-time World Cup finalist, winning four of them, and he played an instrumental role in Brazil’s victories in 1958 and 1962. He was the first person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager in 1970 and was involved again when Brazil won again in 1994.

Zagallo’s passing was confirmed by the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) president, Ednaldo Rodrigues in the early hours of Saturday morning in a statement that read thus: “We offer solidarity to his family members and fans in this moment of grief for the departure of this great hero of our soccer,”.

Zagallo was admitted to Rio de Janeiro’s Barra D’Or Hospital on Boxing Day due to a period of ill health as he was being treated for respiratory, back and urinary infections. His family also issued a statement that read: “It is with great regret that we announce the passing of our eternal world champion Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo. He was a devoted father, loving grandfather, caring father-in-law, faithful friend, victorious professional, and a great human being. He was a giant idol and a patriot who left us a legacy of great achievements. 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 played for Rio de Janeiro-based teams Botafogo and Flamengo and was part of the legendary squad that won the 1958 World Cup in Sweden alongside Pele and Garrincha. As a left-sided forward, he also contributed to Brazil retaining the title four years later in Chile. After retiring from playing in 1965, he became a successful manager, taking charge of his country as well as a whole host of Brazilian clubs, as well as teams in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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