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Zico: Brazil must stop exporting its footballers to Europe

Zico never won a World Cup with Brazil but was one of the greatest players to ever pull on a yellow jersey
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Still seething with anger at Brazil’s acrimonious World Cup exit, the ‘White Pelé’ has spoken about the crisis in Brazilian football.

In an interview with the Economic Times, the 61-year-old gave his thoughts on who should take over the reins of the national side with Luiz Felipe Scolari set to leave his role.

“Scolari remained focused entirely on the success of the 2013 Confederations Cup. They kept the same formation and the same team. Everyone had a year to work out exactly how to play against Brazil. In my opinion, Sao Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho would be an ideal candidate to lead Brazil. We need new thinking.”

The Flamengo icon played a total of 71 times for Brazil, scoring an impressive total of 52 goals. In his recent interview, he went on to analyse the difficulties facing Brazilian football these days.

“The biggest problem is that Brazil has become an exporter of football talent. The clubs from Europe take away all the talent from Brazil. Brazilian boys as young as 14 and 15 are now based in Europe. They spend their best years in Europe and come back to Brazil when they are past their prime. This has destroyed local clubs and championships. Unless we stop the talent from leaving the country in such huge numbers at such a young age, we can't revive football in Brazil.

“The first thing I would do if I was chief of the CBF would be to call a closed-door meeting of all football clubs, coaches and academies and ask them what they need.

“The CBF doesn't give money to local clubs and they are forced to sell their players to the Europeans to make money. We also need to pay attention to football academies and schools and nurture talent at the grassroots level. Today, it's a shame that the national side doesn't have a single player from Rio, which has produced so many legends, and there are so many players in the team who have never played for a Brazilian club.”


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