FIFA World Cup: Maracana deserved a goal from Messi, says Zico

Jogo Bonito or the beautiful game — Tele Santana's (manager of the 1982 and 1986 Brazil World Cup squads) Brazil made this phrase popular to a new generation of football viewers in India. The legendary Zico too was among those players responsible for making it happen with his sublime ball skills, along with Socrates and Falcao.

Former Brazil star Zico
Former Brazil star Zico 

In Rio, to celebrate the Maracana's 64th year of existence, Zico showered praise on Lionel Messi and his brilliant strike against Bosnia-Herzegovina. "Maracana deserved a goal from Messi. It's the superstars and their performances that made the temple what it is today. And Messi's goal was definitely one of them," he said.

Historic venue
The stadium has seen Pele score his 1000th goal, Garrincha's piece de resistance bringing Botafogo its second Rio de Janeiro title in 1962 and the Brazilian championship won by Zico's Flamengo in 1980, among many other memorable incidents. Zico himself is the highest scorer at the stadium, managing 333 goals in 435 matches.

"Argentina played very well in the second half. Once Fernando Gago came in, Messi got more freedom to play his natural game," explained Zico. The white Pele is hoping for a Brazil-Argentina final at the Maracana on July 13.

"These two countries boast of having produced great footballers. Argentina had Alfredo de Stefano, Diego Maradona and now Lionel Messi, while we in Brazil had Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo and Neymar now.

So, it will be wonderful for the Maracana if these two countries can make it to the final," said the man, remembered by fans more for missing a penalty against France in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, minutes after entering the pitch as a sub. Zico may have never won a World Cup, but he won many hearts with his Jogo Bonito!

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