Sao Paulo: Zito, a two-time World Cup winner with Brazil, has died at the age of 82.

Zito. Pic/AFP
Zito. Pic/AFP 

The long-serving Santos midfielder, who won the game's top prize in both 1958 and 1962, had been suffering from the effects of a stroke for almost a year before passing away at home on Sunday.

In an official statement the Brazilian Football Confederation credited Zito with bringing current Brazil star Neymar to Santos during his time on the backroom staff.

The Barcelona striker posted an archive picture of himself with Zito on Twitter, writing: "I have no words to describe this guy, I just appreciate everything you did for me... Thanks Zito."

CBF president Marco Polo Del Nero has also expressed his regret - and that of the governing body's directors - over Zito's death.

Zito played alongside Pele in Brazil's World Cup-winning squads in Sweden and Chile and scored a goal in the 3-1 final victory over Czechoslovakia in the latter tournament.