Zito (footballer)

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Zito 2008.jpg
Zito on the 50th anniversary of Brazil winning the 1958 FIFA World Cup Final
Personal information
Full nameJosé Ely de Miranda
Date of birth 8 August 1932
Place of birth Roseira, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death 14 June 2015 (aged 82)
Place of death Santos, Brazil
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1948–1950 Roseira
Senior career*
1950–1952 Taubaté
1952–1967 Santos 727 (57)
National team
1955–1964 Brazil 52 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

José Ely de Miranda (8 August 1932 – 14 June 2015), commonly known as Zito, was a Brazilian footballer who played as a midfielder.

Midfielder association football position played on both ends of the field

midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards. Some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation; the collective group of these players on the field is sometimes referred to as the midfield.


His club career was spent mostly in the service of Santos, captaining a side including Pelé to domestic and international successes. He was also part of the Brazilian squads which won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962.

Santos FC Brazilian professional association football club based in Vila Belmiro, Santos

Santos Futebol Clube, commonly known simply as Santos, is a Brazilian sports club based in Vila Belmiro, a bairro in the city of Santos. It plays in the Paulistão, the State of São Paulo's premier state league, as well as the Brasileirão, the top tier of the Brazilian football league system.

Captain (association football) team captain of an association football team

The team captain of an association football team, sometimes known as the skipper, is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team: it is often one of the older/or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game or have good leadership qualities. The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is regarded by many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, as the greatest player of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

After his retirement as a player, Zito remained at Santos as a director and youth coordinator, developing several young future international players.

Early life

Born in Roseira, São Paulo, Zito initially intended to become a schoolteacher, and attended technical schools in his hometown, before pursuing a career as a footballer. [1]

Roseira Municipality in Southeast Brazil, Brazil

Roseira is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. It is part of the Metropolitan Region of Vale do Paraíba e Litoral Norte. The population is 10,344 in an area of 130.65 km². The elevation is 551 m.

São Paulo (state) State of Brazil

São Paulo is one of the 26 states of the Federative Republic of Brazil and is named after Saint Paul of Tarsus. As the richest Brazilian state and a major industrial complex, often dubbed the "locomotive of Brazil", the state is responsible for 33.9% of the Brazilian GDP. São Paulo also has the second highest Human Development Index (HDI) and GDP per capita, the fourth lowest infant mortality rate, the third highest life expectancy, and the third lowest rate of illiteracy among the federative units of Brazil, being by far, the safest state in the country. The homicide rate is 3.8 per 100 thousand as of 2018, almost 1/4 of the Brazilian rate. São Paulo alone is richer than Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia combined. If São Paulo were an independent country, its nominal GDP would be ranked among the top 20 in the world. The economy of São Paulo State is the most developed in Brazil.

Playing career

Zito joined Santos in 1952, after finishing his formation at hometown amateur club Roseira FC, and spending two years at Taubaté. [2] He made his debut for Peixe on 29 June 1952 in a 3–1 friendly win against Madureira. [3]

Esporte Clube Taubaté, also known as Taubaté, is a Brazilian football team in Taubaté, São Paulo. The club currently plays in the Campeonato Paulista Série A2.

Madureira Esporte Clube association football team in Brazil

Madureira Esporte Clube, or Madureira as they are usually called, is a traditional Brazilian football team from Rio de Janeiro in Rio de Janeiro state, founded on August 8, 1914.

Zito appeared regularly for Santos in the following 15 years, playing 733 games and scoring 57 goals. He was the captain of the Os Santásticos team of the late 1950s and 1960s, playing alongside Pelé, Pepe and other Brazilian stars. [4]

Os Santásticos

Os Santásticos is the nickname for the group of Santos Futebol Clube players coached by Lula and Antoninho that won a total of 25 titles between 1959 and 1974, including two Copa Libertadores. Often considered one of the strongest teams ever assembled in any sport, scoring over 3000 goals during this period, with an average of over 2.5 goals per match. Also known as O Balé Branco or Time dos Sonhos, they dominated Brazilian football and became a symbol of Jogo Bonito thanks to figures such as Gilmar, Mauro, Mengálvio, Coutinho, Pepe and the iconic Pelé. Pele made Santos FC famous around the world in this revolutionary era, therefore his lesser-known teammates are best known as "Pele's friends."

Pepe (footballer, born 1935) Brazilian footballer

José Macia, better known as Pepe is a former association footballer and manager. He was a left winger for Santos and the Brazilian national team. His nickname was "Canhão da Vila", because of his potent kick with his left leg and the fact that Santos plays in the Estádio Urbano Caldera, nicknamed Vila Belmiro.

Zito (standing, third from left) lining up for the 1958 FIFA World Cup Final Brasil - 1958.jpg
Zito (standing, third from left) lining up for the 1958 FIFA World Cup Final

Zito was nicknamed Gerente (manager in Portuguese) by the media during his playing days, due to helping the manager Lula while outfields. [5] Despite missing the two last games of 1963 Intercontinental Cup due to an injury, he acted as Lula's assistant during both matches as his team won the second title in a row. [5]

Luís Alonso Pérez Brazilian association football player

Luís Alonso Pérez, also known as Lula was a Brazilian football manager, notably managing Santos from 1954 to 1966.

The 1963 Intercontinental Cup was a two-legged football match contested between 1962–63 European Cup champions Milan and 1963 Copa Libertadores winners Santos. It was the fourth edition of the competition.

Zito played his last match on 7 November 1967, a 5–0 win against a mix between Ferroviário and Fortaleza at the Estádio Presidente Vargas . [3]

At international level, he earned 52 caps for Brazil. He partnered Didi in midfield, and was part of the squad which won the 1958 FIFA World Cup Final against hosts Sweden; after starting the tournament as a reserve, he finished it as an undisputed starter. [6] In the 1962 edition in Chile, he was named in the Team of the Tournament. [4] In the final of that tournament, Zito headed Brazil into the lead as they came from behind to win 3–1 against Czechoslovakia with Pelé absent through injury. [7]

Style of play

A strong, commanding and influential midfielder, known for his leadership, Zito usually played in a supporting role as a wing-half or half-back, serving as a defensive foil to his more offensive minded teammates. An intelligent and highly organised player, he was known for his ability to win back possession with his tackling, and subsequently set the tempo in midfield through his movement off the ball and precise passing; although he was competent in possession, he preferred to play the ball to other more creative and skilful midfielders rather than carry it forward himself. He was also capable of starting attacking plays after winning the ball by quickly distributing the ball forward with simple, yet neat and efficient passes. [1] [8] [9]

Life after football

After retiring Zito was a vice-president at Santos between 1978 and 1982. After one year away from the club, he was named director of football by president Milton Teixeira, but left the post in 1987. In 2000, he was named a youth coordinate, helping the club to promote youngsters Robinho and Diego to the first team. [10]

Zito was credited with bringing 11-year-old Neymar to the club in 2003. [4] With Gabriel, he was also the scout who saw the player and brought him to the club's youth system. [10]


Zito suffered from Alzheimer's disease and had memory lapses. [11] Following a stroke the year before, Zito died on 14 June 2015 aged 82 in Santos, São Paulo, leaving Pelé and Zagallo as the last two living Brazilian veterans of the 1958 World Cup final. [4] [9]





Brazil [9]


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  1. 1 2 Brian Glanville (15 June 2015). "Zito obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. "De Roseira para o mundo: veja fotos de Zito antes e depois dos gramados" [From Roseira to the world: see photos of Zito before and after the field] (in Portuguese). A Tribuna. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. 1 2 "A história do maior capitão do Santos FC" [The history of the greatest captain of Santos FC] (in Portuguese). Santos' official website. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Zito: Two-time Brazilian World Cup-winning midfielder dies at 82". BBC Sport. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. 1 2 "'Gerente', Zito deu broncas em Pelé e ria com apelido de 'chulé'" ['Manager', Zito told off Pelé and laughed with nickname of 'cheesy feet'] (in Portuguese). NE10. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  6. "Após 50 anos, Zito derruba lenda sobre jogadores e Feola" [After 50 years, Zito brings down myth about players and Feola]. Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). 29 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  7. "Brazil flying high with 'Little Bird' Garrincha". FIFA. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  8. Ivan Ponting (5 August 2015). "Zito: Commanding midfielder who helped to guide Brazil to consecutive World Cup triumphs". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  9. 1 2 3 "Zito, leader of Brazil's World Cup-winning teams in 1958 and 1962, dies at 82". The Washington Post. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  10. 1 2 "Além de história e títulos, Zito moldou quatro gerações de ídolos do Santos" [Aside from history and title, Zito made four generations of idols of Santos] (in Portuguese). Terra. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. "Morre Zito, um dos maiores da história do futebol brasileiro" [Dies Zito, one of the greatests of Brazilian football] (in Portuguese). ESPN Brasil. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  12. "ERIC BATTY’S WORLD XI – THE SIXTIES" Retrieved on 26 November 2015