The legendary Brazilian soccer player and coach Mario Zagallo has passed away at the age of 92. The news was revealed on Saturday in an Instagram post from his official account

Zagallo won the World Cup four times with Brazil as a player and manager. Rising to the status of national hero, he was one of only three individuals to ever win the tournament title in both roles.

He had been admitted numerous times in the last few months to Rio de Janeiro’s Barra D’Or Hospital, In fact, they determined that multiple organ failure was the reason.

In a social media post, his loved ones announced his passing: “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of our eternal four-time world champion Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo.

“A devoted father, loving grandfather, caring father-in-law, faithful friend, successful professional and a great human being. A giant idol. A patriot who leaves 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.”

Who was Mario Zagallo?

Zagallo, a little left winger came up through the Brazilian amateur levels in the 1950s. He personified the country’s desire to combine offensive flare with defensive sturdiness. He also displayed an admiral level of dedication while combining his own great expertise.

Unbeknownst to many, the forward would go on to contribute to four of Brazil’s five World Cup victories.

While playing for Flamengo and Botafogo, he was a five-time Rio de Janeiro state champion. He didn’t make his Brazil debut until he was 26 years old, just before the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. But then, he quickly solidified his place on the squad and earned 37 caps.

Out of the Brazilian squad that won the country’s first-ever major trophy, Zagallo was the only survivor. Additionally, he was the one who helped alleviate the agony of losing to Uruguay in a devastating match at the Maracana eight years before.

In a nation ruled by a military dictatorship, Zagallo went back to the game after retirement, this time as a manager. He took over his old team, Botafogo, and won two more state championships with them.

Despite being a player a generation ahead of his time, the ex-left winger wasted little time establishing himself as a valuable coach. Ten years down the road, he became manager of the national squad.

He led the Selecao to victory in the 1970 World Cup with stars like Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, and Pele. It was his “greatest memory as a manager” when Brazil shocked the world with an unbelievable performance.

Brazil declare three-day national mourning

Since then, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has proclaimed a three-day national mourning period. “He was one of the greatest football players and coaches of all time,” Lula said in a statement.

“Courageous, passionate… [he] leaves a lesson of love, dedication and the will to overcome for our country – and for world football.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / TheNews2 IMAGO / Gemini Collection