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Brazil to hold funeral for football great Zagallo Sunday

The funeral of late Brazilian football legend Mario Zagallo will be held Sunday, his family said, after the four-time World Cup-winning player and coach died at age 92.

A wake for the man known as the “Old Wolf” will be held from 9:30 am (1230 GMT) at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in Rio de Janeiro, said a statement posted to Zagallo’s Instagram account Saturday, the day after his death.

That will be followed by a burial at the Sao Joao Batista cemetery, the final resting place of some of Brazil’s most famous citizens.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva led the tributes to Zagallo, calling him “one of the greatest football players and coaches of all time.”

“Courageous, passionate… (he) leaves a lesson of love, dedication and the will to overcome for our country and for world football,” Lula wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Zagallo, who played alongside Pele in Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 World Cup-winning teams, died Friday night of multiple organ failure at the Barra D’Or hospital in Rio after suffering a series of health problems in recent months.

Beloved in Brazil for both his playing style and outsize personality, Zagallo also coached the side led by Pele that won the 1970 World Cup – considered by many the greatest team in history — and was assistant coach on Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning team.

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

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