Tue 26 January 2021 | 12:30

Top Facts About Zico, the Brazilian Football Legend

Brazil has produced other legendary footballers than Pele one of whom is Arthur Antunes Coimbra, known as Zico. Who really is Zico? We are into top facts about Zico in this post which covers almost every aspect of Zico personal life.

Maybe the most important question of all is about Zico age, if Zico is a legendary footballer, then he must be old, but how old is he really? And then the other questions may come up concerning Zico net worth, Zico salary,

Zico stats

, and Zico transfer market stats, indeed, during his footballing career.

And what about Zico wife and Zico children or even Zico childhood and Zico parents? Let’s say Zico personal life. That we also cover. We try actually to cover every aspect of Zico personal life in this post.

Top Facts about Zico You Might Not Know

Here comes a number of

top facts about Zico

. As we already mentioned, that covers almost every aspect of Zico personal life.

Zico Childhood

Let’s begin with

Zico age

before we get to his childhood. Zico was born on March 3, 1953, in the neighborhood of Quintino Bocaiuva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So by now he is 68 years old and is currently working as the technical director of the Japanese football club,

Kashima Antlers

; the team that he actually served in the last 3 years of his footballing career from 1991 to 1994.

Zico actually comes from a middle-class family with Portuguese origins. As for

Zico childhood

, we should say that like many Brazilian boys of his age, Zico dreamt of becoming a professional footballer - what he actually became and even more! He became a legendary footballer. Zico’s love for football was so much that he even skipped school to play football on the streets. Zico might not be an educated footballer, but he’s indeed or better said was a professional footballer even from a very young age.

Zico was famed for his talent and passion for the football in the neighborhood he lived. People even gathered to watch the young boy’s performances on the streets. As a youngster, Zico played for a local futsal team named Juventude which was run by his older brothers and friends.

He also played for the futsal club, River Futebol Clube, but only on Sundays. When 14 years old, Zico proved himself in a match for the same futsal club: He scored 9 goals for them and it was from this point that they knew for sure that the young boy was extraordinarily talented. The radio reporter, Celso Garcia, asked Zico’s father to take him for a trial to the top Brazilian club,


; what actually ignited the footballing life of Zico as a professional.

Zico enrolled for the Flamengo youth academy in the same year (1967), but he was almost turned down. They said he was thin and not physically strong enough to be able to play football professionally. However, they did not actually turn him down only because of that - he had at least some talent, instead, they enrolled him in a nutrition and gym exercise program that later on paid off: Flamengo won three of their six Brazilian Serie A titles and one

FIFA Club World Cup

when Zico was part of their senior team.

Related Article: 

Zico biography

Zico Parents and Siblings

As for

Zico parents

, we should say they are Jose Antunes Coimbra and Matilde Ferreira da Silva Costa, and both have passed away. Zico’s father, Jose Antunes Coimbra, was a Portuguese man who came to Brazil in 1911 when he was 10. He was actually born in 1901 and passed away in 1986 at the age of 85.

And Zico’s mother, Matilde Ferreira da Silva Costa, was born in 1919 and passed away in November 17, 2002, at the age of 83. We say Zico is of a family with Portuguese origins because actually both his maternal and paternal grandfathers, Arthur Ferreira da Costa Silva and Fernando Antunes Coimbra, respectively, were from Portugal.

And what about Zico’s siblings? He has 5 siblings and he himself is actually the sixth and the youngest child of his parents. Zico’s siblings are Maria Jose, known as Zeze and Zico’s only sister, Antunes, Nando, Edu and Antonio, known as Tonico. Just like Zico himself, Edu, was a professional footballer and the interesting thing about him is that he also played in the same post as Zico: Attacking midfielder.

He also played for Flmango, alongside his brother, Zico, in 1976, and managed a number of club and national teams during his managerial career which lasted from 1982 to 2012. He’s by now 73 years old. About other siblings Zico has, unfortunately, not much information is at hand.

Zico Stats

Surely part of the

top facts about Zico

is concerned with Zico stats during his footballing career. As for Zico stats, we should say that other than Udinese, the legendary Brazilian footballer never served a top European club.

If we just put aside the two years that Zico served Udinese from 1983 to 1985 and the three years that he served the Japanese club, Kashima Antlers, from 1991 to 1994, then we can say he served the top Brazilian club, Flamengo, for all his career. He actually served the Brazilian club for 16 years and in two time periods: Once from 1971 to 1983 and another time - actually after he left


- from 1985 to 1989.

What is quite obvious about Zico, and we should say more than obvious, is that although a midfielder, he was a prolific scorer with the clubs he played for during his career. He actually scored a total of 477 goals in the 700 appearances that he made during his career which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.68 meaning that he scored a little bit more than two goals (exactly 2.04) in every 3 appearances that he made during his career. That’s even better than some forwards’ ratios and maybe that’s why they call him a legendary footballer.

You might guess from the period Zico served Flamengo that he scored the most number of goals for the same club too. That’s right. He actually scored 401 goals of all the 477 goals he scored during his career for Flamngo, and this number of goals were scored in 580 appearances that gets him even a better goal-to-appearance ratio than his overall one: 0.69.

Zico also served the Brazilian national team for 10 years between 1976 and 1986 and during this time he scored 48 goals in the 71 appearances that he made for them. That again gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.68 meaning that he was also a prolific scorer with his country’s national team. As for

Zico transfer market stats

, we should say that since it was in old times, there are no information or figure representing for how much the Brazilian legend joined the teams he served during his career.

Zico Wife and Children

Is Zico married? Yes, for sure! Zico wife is Sandra Carvalho de Sa. The couple actually met each other in 1969, got engaged in 1970 and finally married in 1975. The interesting fact here is that Sandra’s sister, Sueli, is the wife of Zico’s brother, Edu, so Zico and Edu are both bother brothers and brothers-in-law. And what about Zico children?

As for

Zico children

, we should say the Brazilian legend has three children: Arthur Antunes Junior, Bruno, and Thiago. The first and the oldest son of Zico, Arthur Junior, was born on October 15, 1977, and is by now 43 years old. He’s a retired footballer who played as a midfielder during his career and said goodbye to the world of football in 2003. The last club he served during his career was the Japanese club, Sagan Tosu. He never played for the Brazilian national team and has never managed a team.

Zico’s second son, Bruno, is only one year younger than his older brother. He was born on October 16, 1978 - exactly born one year and a day after his older brother - and is by now 42 years old. We don’t know much about him or his occupation. The third and the youngest son of Zico is Thiago who was born on January 6, 1983 and is by now 38 years old. Like his brother, Arthur, Thiago is also a retired footballer who played as a midfielder during his career but only for Brazilian clubs.

Zico Net worth and Salary

If we are to top facts about Zico, we will never skip an important part of Zico personal life:

Zico net worth

and Zico salary. As for Zico net worth there is no definite figure representing that, but they say it is something between $500,000 and $1 million. And about Zico sources of income, we should say it seems the Brazilian legend has had no other source of income other than being a footballer and manager, the former from 1971 to 1994 and the latter from 1999 to 2018. We mean he has probably endorsed no products and has not featured in any great company’s ads.

And what about

Zico salary

? Although Zico currently works as the technical director of the Japanese club, Kashima Antlers, It’s not revealed how much he receives as his salary. And the salaries he has received with the other teams he has managed are not also clear; quite secret or not that important to be revealed. What do you think?

Zico Honors and Achievements

Well, part of the

facts about Zico

is surely concerned with his footballing honors and achievements. Zico, if not the most decorated Brazilian footballer ever, is indeed among the top Brazilian footballers who have won the most number of trophies and titles during their careers. He is also the holder of a handful of records among them are the top scorer in Flamengo's history with 508 goals and the top scorer in Maracana Stadium - the stadium run by the two Brazilian clubs, Flamengo and 


- with 333 goals.

Zico has also a number of individual awards - actually more than 30 - to his name some of which are Golden Foot Legends Award in 2006, Serie A Player of the Year in 1984, South American Footballer of the Year in 1977, 1981, and 1982, and FIFA World Cup Bronze Boot in 1982. Zico was also named in the FIFA 100 list by the Brazilian legend, Pele, in 2004 and was inducted into Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2010.

Since Zico served Flamengo for the majority of his career he has won almost all his club trophies except for one with the same team. These include but not limited to three Brazilian Serie A titles, and six Campeonato Carioca trophies. And as a manager he has also won several trophies with the teams he has managed including one Turkish Super League title in 2006-07 season with Fenerbahce, one Uzbek League title and one Uzbekistani Cup both in 2008 with


, one Russian Super Cup in 2009 and one Russian Cup in 2008-09 season with CSKA Moscow, and one Asian Cup with the Japanese national team in 2004.

And did you know that Zico also played beach soccer? And not only this, he also won a handful of titles in the same filed including two Beach Soccer World Championships with the Brazilian beach soccer national team and was also named Beach Soccer World Championship Top Scorer in 1995 with 12 goals.

Zico Nicknames

Before anything else let’s tell you that Zico itself is an abbreviation. As already mentioned, Zico’s real name is Arthur Antunes Coimbra, but where does the nickname, Zico, come from? In his childhood, they used to call Zico, Arthurzinho, which in Portuguese means “Little Arthur”, then that became Arthurzico, and some time later Tuzico, and finally Zico which is actually a nickname created by Zico’s cousin, Linda Rolim.

Well, as for Zico’s nicknames, we should say the legendary Brazilian footballer has two nicknames: O Galinho which means “Rooster” and is a nickname that was given by the radio commentator, Waldir Amaral, to him because of the quiff Zico had in his young age, and “The White Pele” which actually shows that in many people’s belief Zico took up where Pele left off, and that he was almost as great a footballer as Pele.

Zico Retirement

Zico had actually two retirements: A brief and a full one. Zico’s brief retirement from football took place in 1990 where he was appointed the Minister of Sports by the Brazilian president, Fernando Collor de Mello. He actually served in his governmental post for about a year and could even pass an important legislation piece which dealt with the business side of sports, then in 1991, accepted an offer from the Japanese club, Kashima Antlers, to join them, where he served for 3 years until 1994 before his full retirement.

Even after his full retirement in 1994, Zico continued to play football. How? He actually received an invitation to play for the Brazilian beach soccer national team in 1995 and he accepted it. He even won the same year beach soccer World Cup and with the 12 goals that he scored in the tournament became the tournament’s top scorer.

Zico was also Kashima Antlers’ technical advisor at the same time. It is also noteworthy to mention that Zico founded a center called Zico Football Center in Rio de Janeiro in 1996 and also a football club in 1999 named CFZ de Brasilia who won one Campeonato Brasiliense league title in 2002.

Zico Style of Play

Although Zico was an attacking midfielder, he could play in other posts in the midfield such as central midfielder and also as a second striker. His knack for attacking and goal scoring actually made him a good choice for attacking positions. He also possessed a great ability in dribbling and passing and was famed for his no-look passes - accurate passes that before sending them he even didn’t look at the target; a rare capability if you ask us. The former top Dutch footballer, Ruud Gullit, once described Zico as one of the best dribblers in the history of football.

And why was Zico so good at dribbling? Maybe because he was both a pacey player and slender in form which allowed him to exercise higher degrees of flexibility on the pitch. He was also a highly-creative player and that means he was not only a goal scorer himself but also created goal scoring chances for his teammates.

Zico was also excellent at taking free kicks; his special style in doing that - raising his knee at a very high angle and kicking the ball with his instep - actually enabled him to score from free kicks even in close ranges. And to all this, add Zico’s mental strength, determination, and work rate which kept him on the training ground even after the training session was finished; what you get is a legendary footballer!

Related Article: 

Top Footballers by Country

Zico Social Media Accounts

Well, part of the facts about Zico is surely concerned with

Zico social media accounts

. As for Zico social media accounts, we should say that, despite his old age and unlike some other top former footballers, the legendary Brazilian footballer has an account on each of the three top social media platforms, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and also a number of followers - actually more than a million - on the first two ones.

Zico has 2.5 million followers on


as of today, January 26, 2021. He has joined the social media platform in 2016 and since then has posted 2640 photos and videos; quite good for an older footballer. He also follows 123 people among them is the top Brazilian footballer,

Neymar J.



, Zico has more followers; actually more than 3 million and also 2.6 million people have also liked his Facebook page.

However, on


, Zico has not been that popular, although he has joined the social media platform one year sooner than the time he joined Facebook - actually in 2010. He has only 119.6K followers on Twitter and has posted 1874 tweets to this date (January 26, 2021). And Zico has also a Youtube channel at this address:



Fast Facts About Zico

Here are some fast

facts about Zico


  • Zico is exactly 67 years, 10 months, and 23 days old as of today, January 26, 2021.

  • Based on what we said above, Zico has lived around 2,149,900,000 seconds until now!

  • Zico is 172cm tall and weighs 67Kg.

  • Zico’s zodiac sign is Pisces.

  • Zico is Christian by religion and Catholic by faith.

  • Zico is actually the first Brazilian Sports Minister ever - the second is Pele. He kept his job for 13 months before he was strongly lobbied by the politicians linked to football authorities in Brazil.

  • Zico has managed 10 national and club teams among them are CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos, Fenerbahce, Al-Gharafa of Qatar, and the Iraqi and Japanese national teams.

  • Zico went for the management of the English club, Newcastle United, after his success at Fenerbahce, but he never became their manager.

  • Zico was once offered the assistant manager role at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson was leading the club.

  • Zico also went for the presidency of FIFA after the former FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, resigned due to corruption allegations concerning the winning bids of Russia and Qatar to host 2018 and 2022 editions of FIFA World Cup.

  • Zico made his international debut in the qualifying round for the 1972 Summer Olympics competitions. He played in 5 matches and scored his first international goal against Argentina.




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