Zico reveals Olympic heartache

Rio de Janeiro, April 8 (IANS) Brazil legend Zico has revealed he was left “traumatised” after being left out of the national team for the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

In a speech at the Rio 2016 headquarters on Thursday, the 63-year-old urged 500 organising committee staff to seize the opportunity of being involved in this year’s Olympic Games, reports Xinhua.

“You have a great responsibility,” he said, as quoted by Rio2016.com.

“You’re going to stage an event for the whole world and make history for this city. It’s an opportunity I didn’t have.”

Zico scored his first goal for Brazil as an 18-year-old in 1971, handing them a 1-0 victory over Argentina and a berth at the Munich Olympics.

Despite his heroics, the Flamengo star was overlooked the following year by national team coach Antoninho.

Brazilian football teams have been renowned for their creativity and improvisation over the years, but Zico also warned that preparation was equally important.

“We have to be prepared for the great challenge, individually and collectively,” he said.

“I had the opportunity to live in many places, experienced different cultures in Japan, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Uzbekistan, Iraq, India… in all those places, people speak of Rio as an incredible city, a special place,” he added.

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