Better known as Zico, Arthur Antunes Coimbra is a Brazilian coach and former Brazilian footballer who was born on 3rd March 1953 in Rio de Janeiro.
An attacking midfielder by nature, Zico is considered to be one of the most clinical finishers and best passers ever, as well as one of the greatest players of all time.
In the year 1960, when Zico was only 7 years old, he started playing football for Flamengo and continued to play till 1972 in his youth career.
Initially Zico wasn't strong enough. But with hard work and determination, he developed a strong body and became an athlete.
He represented Flamengo in the year 1971 for 12 years before he moved to Udinese. After 2 years he came back and again represented Flamengo till 1989, after which he played for Kashima Antlers.
During 1972 Summer Olympics, Zico made his international debut in the South American Qualifier and played 5 matches and scored the qualifying goal against Argentina.
Despite of good performance, he wasn’t selected for Munich games. But, later he was given the opportunity to showcase his skills and he capitalized on it.
Rise to Glory
In 1967, at 14 years old, Zico scored 9 goals during a River match and caught the attention of the selecters and was selected for Flamengo, beginning his path towards becoming one of the most admired players in the history of the sport.
Zico helped his team to victory in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup, 1981 Copa Libertadores, and four national titles in the year 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1987. With his incredible performance, he was chosen 1981 and 1983 Player of the Year.
After playing for Kashima Antlers, he became a local legend in Japan and earned a nickname, "God of Football" from Japanese football fans because of his talent,disciple and professionalism.
Zico’s journey of becoming the best in his field started in the year 1971 when he started his club career for Flamengo and continued to play for 12 years after which he represented Udinese for 2 years and returned back to Flamengo and continued to play till 1989. In 212 appearances, he managed to score 123 goals for Flamengo.
In 1991, he started representing Kashima Antlers and earned utmost respect from Japanese fans.
He scored 192 goals throughout in his club career in 332 matches he played.
Zico ranked 8th in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote in 1999, and in 2004, Zico was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
Zico is fifth highest goalscorer for his national team with 48 goals in 71 official appearances for Brazil. He was also chosen as the Player of the Year in 1981 and 1983.
In 1994, Zico retired from professional football but received an invitation to play beach soccer and by scoring 12 goals, he helped his team win the Beach Soccer World Cup 1995.
Post retirement, he returned to Kashima Antlers as a technical advisor and after that, he managed many other teams including FC Goa and the Japanese national football team.