Brazilian and global football legend Mario Lobo Zagallo, a prominent figure in Grupo Milenio, has departed from this world. The news of the four-time world champion’s passing at the age of 92 was officially shared on the organisation’s Instagram account.
In a poignant statement, the announcement conveyed deep sorrow, portraying Zagallo as a devoted father, loving grandfather, affectionate father-in-law, loyal friend, victorious professional, and a great human being. The note emphasised his role as a patriot, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable achievements.
The cause of Zagallo’s demise remains undisclosed. The football icon, who holds the unique distinction of participating in four out of five World Cups won by Brazil, had been hospitalised in Rio de Janeiro in August due to a urinary infection.
Zagallo, known as the “Old Wolf,” played a significant role in Brazil’s World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962 as a left-winger. In a rare feat, he achieved two more titles as a coach and technical assistant in 1970 and 1994, respectively. Additionally, he served as the coach in 1998 when Brazil lost the final against France.
Following Pelé’s passing in December 2022, Zagallo faced health challenges, spending nearly two weeks in the hospital due to a respiratory infection.
The President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Edmundo Rodrigues, declared seven days of official mourning, acknowledging Zagallo’s immense contribution to the sport. The South American Football Confederation also mourned the loss, hailing him as a “football legend and only four-time champion.”
As a mark of respect, various Brazilian clubs have begun paying tribute to Zagallo on their official social media platforms. Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo club referred to him as a “revolutionary, historical pillar of the game,” while Sao Paulo recognised him as an athlete, coach, and leader who made history in Brazilian football.