June 15, 2015 / 12:33 PM / in 2 years

Double World Cup winner Zito dies, aged 82

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Central defender Zito, who won two World Cups with Brazil, has died aged 82, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Monday.

Legendary 1958 World Cup Brazilian soccer players Zito (L) and Djalma dos Santos display the new Brazilian national soccer team jersey as they shake hands in Rio de Janeiro January 21, 2008. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

Zito, who had been unwell since suffering a stroke last year, played alongside Pele when Brazil won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 and scored in the 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia in the 1962 final.

He worked for Santos after he retired as a player and was a key figure in developing young players at the club, including Neymar.

“I have no words to describe that guy, I simply thank him for all he did for me, for having believed in me and helped me at the start of my career,” Barcelona striker Neymar wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the two together.

“Rest in peace, he did so much for us here... Thank you ZITO!”

Reporting by Andrew Downie

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