Mario Zagallo: biography, creativity, career, personal life

In football history Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo will remain as one of the more successful Brazilian coaches. He was a player for the national team, in 1958 for the first time in the world.

The path to the vocation

Biography of a future celebrity began in 1931. The baby came to light in Maceio on August 9. The small guy from the early years was distinguished by a striking ability to football. The family did not take seriously wishes to start a sporting career. Father dreamed of seeing his son as an accountant. Mario after school decided to receive appropriate education.

However, the vocation did its thing. Breeders paid attention to the guy who played in amateur clubs. They were attracted by speed and striking technique. Zagello signed his first professional contract with Flamengo club in 1950.

Thanks to the ability of great play on his flank and precise shooting or canopy into the penalty area Mario determined to play on the left edge of the attack. The novice’s unbrained manner was distinguished by the virtuoso honed of his technique. The athlete was not only played by himself. He helped his defenders too, earning the nickname Ant or Forgiminha for it.

Mario did not aim for the laurels of Garrinci, able to beat half of the team of opponents, scoring fantastically spectacular heads alone. The special attention of too often successive coaches he as a player of the national team did not attract. At that point, Santos football player Pepe was recognized as the best left extreme. The public adored him for his extraordinary feints.


It was Pepe who represented the country with the team at the 1954 World Championships. The game ended with a Brazilian defeat from the Hungarians in the quarterfinals. The team’s new mentor in spring 1958 was Vesente Feola. On the eve of the match under his management Pepe suffered an injury on the field could not leave.

He was played instead by Mario. Very soon the debutant turned for Feola into one of the key footballers. Trainers were completely satisfied with both hard work and rationalism of the athlete. If star-studded players did not obey the mentor’s setups, staying on the floor on their own, that is what ensured all the failures of the national team.

Zagallo of the trainer understood in half-words. And he acted according to tactical plans of the mentor. To the world primacy of Feol a special role predetermined for Zagallo. At the loss of the ball, the hardy left extreme was turning into a third midfielder to strengthen the midfield. Also Mario quick raids on the right edge of the opponent’s defense reeled off negatives.

The laid-back and artistry of playing at the World Cup in 1958 shook the world. The national team won their first title of champions. The star of the famous Pele came up. Mario made a significant contribution to approaching the overall victory. It was him who scored the decisive goal in the final encounter, aka provided Pelé and a fantastic transfer for the fifth goal.

Becoming world champion, Zagallo transferred to Botafogo club in 1958. He kept allegiance to the new team for life. And in 1960 Feola stepped down as coach of the national team. Once again, Pepe came first. In the squad only in 1962, to the world championship, again included Mario.

New facets of talent

Aymore Moreira introduced to Chile the same squad that won the championship in 1958. It was Zagallo who provided the Socamanders with the first goal remaining the only one in the meeting. Only one match ended the draw; the rest were won. Once again the Brazilian national team received the title of the strongest on the planet.

Twice the champion again represented the national team in 1964. However, it happened to play the only match. Returning as coach Feola decided to prepare for the championship 1966 a new team. The age-old Zagallo didn’t fit into her. His career on the national team ended in 1965.

In 1967 he left Botafogo as a player to lead the club in coaching status. For the first time in that period, he was invited to lead the national team at a friendly match against Chile, won by the Brazilians. In 1968 again with his players Mario defeated Argentina. Zagallo won state championship twice in a row, and in 1970 brought the national team to the world championship in Mexico. By that point Mario had already earned himself a reputation as a strikingly lucky mentor.

As a skillful strategist, Zagallo did not change anything in his predecessor’s team. And again the Brazilian national team won the title of the world’s best in 1970.

After completing his career

left post Mario after losing at the next championship in 1974. He went to Saudi Arabia as a mentor to Al-Hilal club in 1979. Immediately, the players became champions of the country. In 1989 the coach worked in the Arab Emirates.


technical director of the Brazilian national team became Zagallo in 1994. And again with the direct participation of Mario, the national team won the competition. In 1998 in France Zagallo already represented the players in the amplua coach.

However, this time after the winning Brazilians one after another and expected on the home ground of the title of champions the victory in the final was won by the hosts, the French. In 2001 Rio de Janeiro State Champion was Club Flamengo, led by Mario.


personal life of the luckiest coach of the country has also been happily developed. With Alzina de Castro, they became husband and wife on January 13, 1955. The couple raised four children.

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