Mario Jorge ‘Lobo’ Zagallo was honored on Thursday morning (20/10) at the unveiling of his wax statue at the ‘Selection Museum’ at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro.
Velho Lobo, as he is nicknamed (meaning big wolf), is the only one to appear in four of the five World Cups won by Brazil.
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The statue is inspired by the 1998 World Cup, when Zagallo guided Seleção to the third and final World Cup of his career (he was champion in 1970 and assistant coach in France).
Accompanied by his son and in the presence of several people from the CBF, including the current federal coach of the Brazilian National Team, Tite, his assistant Cesar Sampaio and Zuninho Paulista, the “old man” did not hide his emotion, while he was impressed from the likeness of the statue.
It weighs 30 kg and was made in London, in the same studio where the statues of Marta and Pele were made. It took about two years of work, involving 26 craftsmen. It is worth noting that the 91-year-old Zagallo donated his own glasses and a sweatshirt from the Brazilian team for the construction.
“I will never forget in my life what we achieved. I never thought I would come here one day for something like today. It is impressive!
I never thought I could have a conversation with…myself. I had to go too far. Getting past 91 is hard. All the time I’m watching the 1958 game on TV, the 1962 game… and I’m in tears,” said Zagallo, who finished with a message to Tite.
“I will see you lift the cup,” he said addressing the “Seleção” coach.
The event was attended by important personalities in the history of Brazilian football, such as Carlos Alberto Pereira and Americo Faria, companions of the “gerolikos” in the National Team.
“One of the great idols of Brazilian and world football. He is my teacher, friend and guru. I have an idea of the dimension of this man, of what he represents.
He and Pele are symbols in our football history. No one deserves it as much as him,” Pereira said, among other things.
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