Panaji: Brazilian footballer Arthur Antunes Coimbra, famously called Zico, who will be the manager and chief coach of FC Goa, arrived here on Monday amidst much fare for the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) slated for October 12-December 20.
Zico, who is also nicknamed 'White Pele', was accompanied with compatriot Roberto Mendes da Silva, who is also a former Dempo player.
Fans turned up at the international airport to receive the legendary footballer, whose last trip to India was in 2007 as the coach of the Japanese national team.
Zico earned the nickname 'White Pele' as a tribute to his supreme skill which matches that of his other legendary countryman, Pele, and partly due to his lighter skin pigment.
As a football player Zico has featured in three World Cups and, as a coach, changed the sheer complexion of the game in Japan during his stint with the national team. Added to this, the fact that it's for the first time in Indian football that a coach of such pedigree has been picked to groom a football team has sent hopes soaring here.
In the FC Goa assignment, Zico will be assisted by Australian Arthur Papas, who is also the coach of Dempo FC, and conditional coach and analyst Hussein Skenderovic.
FC Goa has been jointly promoted by three club owners - Videocon director Anirudh Dhoot, Dempo chairman and managing director Srinivas Dempo and V.M. Salgaocar and Company managing director Dattaraj Salogaocar. The latter two are from Goa.
The team comprises 14 Indian players, three Portuguese, two Czechs and two Frenchmen, including former Arsenal star and international Roberto Pires. Six international players Jan Seda, Miroslav Slepicka, Bruno Pinheiro, Miguel Herlein, Edgar Marcelino and Gregory Arnolin have already arrived here Sunday and the team will soon start training shortly.