• Zito Scored Goal in 1962 Final Win Over Czechoslovakia
  • Pele, Zagallo Last Remaining Members of 1958 Winning Team

Zito, a midfielder on Brazil’s first two World Cup winning teams, has died at 82.

The defensive midfielder -- whose full name was Jose Ely de Miranda -- played 52 times for the national soccer team, which has gone on to become the most-successful in World Cup history. Zito starred alongside Pele on the 1958 and 1962 squads, scoring a goal in the 1962 final.

He was captain of Santos in Sao Paulo, where Pele played the majority of his career.

“The passing of Zito fills my heart with so much sadness,” Pele said on his Twitter account, describing his teammate as a mentor. “We made so many memories together and proudly represented Brazil everywhere we went.”

Zito spent his entire career at Santos before becoming a director at the club famed for unearthing new talent. FIFA said on its website, Zito was instrumental in recruiting Barcelona striker Neymar as a youngster in 2003. The 23-year-old is leading Brazil’s challenge at the Copa America, where he scored the first goal yesterday in a tournament opening 2-1 win over Peru.

“I have no words to describe this guy,” Neymar said on his Twitter feed, alongside an image of the pair together. “I simply thank him for everything he’s done for me.”

Zito’s death leaves Pele and Mario Zagallo as the only surviving members of Brazil team that won the 1958 World Cup final.

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