São Paulo Brazil.- Brazil commemorated the first centenary of the birth of Zizinho (1921-2002), one of the great names of the Brazilian team and who served as a reference to Edson Arantes do Nascimiento ‘Pelé’ himself.
Thomas Soares da Silva, also known as ‘Maestro Ziza’, was the great national idol just before the irruption of Skin, who as a child was inspired by the magic of this attacking midfielder who led Canarinha between the 1940s and 1950s.
“It is a day to exalt the memory of a crack, one of the greatest players in the history of the Brazilian team (…) He was the favorite player of ‘O Rei’ and of all the Brazilian people,” recalled the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF) in a note.
Born in a suburb of Sao Gonçalo, in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Zizinho began his career in amateur teams until he tried out with Flamengo, today the most popular team in Brazil.
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He spent a decade in the rojinegro team, where he became the main star of the team that went down in history by winning the first three-time Rio championship of the ‘Fla’, between 1942 and 1944.
His ability to dribble and his keen nose for the goal led him to occupy ninth place today on the list of top gunners of the popular Rio de Janeiro club, with 145 goals in 328 games.
His brilliant performances in the Flamengo jersey earned him a place on the Brazilian national team in the early 1940s.
The Second World War deprived him of participating in two editions of the World Cup, although at that time he conquered the Rocca Cup (1945) and a South American Championship -today America’s Cup- (1949) with the national team.
In 1950, already established as one of the great players on the national football scene, Zizinho played the World Cup Brazil, the ‘Maracanazo’.
His best match in that tournament with a bitter outcome for the local fans was signed in the 6-1 win against Spain in the final phase, according to the CBF today. Then came the historic defeat against Uruguay (1-2).
Zizinho it was remade and years later it raised the Rio Branco Cup, the Pan-American Championship and the Atlantic Cup, among other national team titles of the time, with the green-yellow elastic.
At the club level, after Flamengo he joined Bangu until 1957, when he was transferred to Sao Paulo, other of the great Brazilian clubs and in which he also lived golden years with the achievement of the Paulista Championship.
That year the name of a very young forward was already beginning to emerge in the ranks of Santos: Skin.
Zizinho he would finish his career at Uberaba and Audax Italiano de Chile. After hanging up his boots, he went to the benches, although with discreet results that at no time came close to what he had achieved as a professional player.
In his record as a technician there is only the gold medal achieved with Brazil at the 1975 Pan American Games, in Mexico City, and which he shared with the host team.
Zizinho he died in 2002 at the age of 80 due to heart problems.
“Maestro Zizo will be, forever, at the altar of our football. An illustrious citizen in the reign of his biggest fan. Thank you Zizinho! ”, Said the CBF.