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Brazil icon Zagallo making ‘good progress’ says hospital

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Mario Zagallo is making “good progress”, the hospital treating the iconic Brazilian football player and coach for a respiratory infection said on Monday.

Tests indicate the 90-year-old is “responding well to the treatment ordered by the medical team”, the bulletin from the Barra D’Or hospital in Rio de Janeiro added.

Zagallo, the first person to win the World Cup as both a player and a coach, was admitted to intensive care at the clinic last week.

As a forward he was part of the Brazil sides that won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 alongside Pele.

He was then the coach for Brazil’s 1970 title, assistant coach for the Selecao’s victory in 1994, and coach again in 1998 when Brazil lost in the final to France.

The only others to win the World Cup as both player and coach are Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer (1974 and 1990) and Didier Deschamps of France (1998 and 2018).

Zagallo’s zenith was undoubtedly the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Despite only recently being named coach, his team cruised to the title playing a spectacular brand of football making players such as Jairzinho, Tostao, Gerson and Rivellino household names the world over, alongside the team’s talisman Pele.

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