June 15, 2015

SAO PAULO (AP) Zito, the leader of Brazil's World Cup-winning teams in 1958 and 1962, has died, Brazilian club Santos says. He was 82.

The cause of the former Santos midfielder's death was not officially announced Monday, but Zito had been battling Alzheimer's disease and last year suffered a stroke that left him hospitalized for more than a month.

Zito scored one of the goals when Brazil defeated Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the 1962 final.

Zito was considered by many a mentor to the young Pele, and was also known as the man who first saw the talent of Neymar, when the current Barcelona forward was only 11, telling Santos directors to sign him as quickly as possible.

Neymar, Brazil's biggest star today, went on Twitter thanking Zito for ''everything he did to me.''

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