Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Remembering the 'Professor'
by Dan Woog, May 13th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Free-lance writer Dan Woog shares a memory of Julio Mazzei, who died on Sunday at the age of 78. Mazzei was best known as Pele's adviser during his New York Cosmos and later coached the Cosmos to the 1982 North American Soccer League title.

I'm surprised Professor Mazzei's death has not received more press coverage in the U.S.  He was one of a kind.

The Professor was always very kind to me, both with the Cosmos and afterward. But the ultimate story involved a trip to Brazil for the initial (and only) "Pele Cup."

There were four teams traveling and the Soccer America crew included publisher Lynn Berling-Manuel, columnist Paul Gardner and myself.

We all rendezvoused in Orlando; from there we flew to Miami (!), Jamaica (where we overnighted, unexpectedly, on a raucous Jamaican Independence Weekend); Manaus, Rio, and finally Sao Paulo.

It was an epic 48-hour journey.  By the time we got there, at something like 6 a.m., we were bedraggled, exhausted, smelly, angry, almost mutinous.

There to greet us was Professor Mazzei. He exuded hospitality. He wore a smile the size of a 747, and looked like he had not a care in the world. Judging by his demeanor, we'd taxied in a few minutes ahead of schedule.

"Welcome to Brazil!" he said, in that Portuguese-flavored accent that can make even the most mundane statement sound impossibly exotic. "Did you have a good flight?"

Somehow, from a man called "the professor," it sounded like the dumbest thing I ever heard. But we smiled, and all was right with the world.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-23 romp in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5-2    
The U.S. under-23 national team defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina's under-23 team, 5-2, in a friendly played Friday in ...
MLS Week 4: FC Dallas puts its perfect record on line    
FC Dallas, the only remaining unbeaten and untied team in MLS, hosts the 2014 Supporters' Shield ...
Berti's back: 'Der Terrier' moves to U.S. sidelines    
Berti Vogts, who is responsible for Jurgen Klinsmann getting his job as German national team coach ...
USL Week 2: Finley joins Independence movement    
All 24 USL teams are in action this week as 10 of the 13 new teams ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"It's impossible for me to say, but I really had expected Mix to go. I think ...
Road to Russia: Barbados ends USVI dream    
Barbados made amends for a shock 1-0 loss at home during which it had two penalty ...
MLS Trade Central: Timbers sign Ghanaian winger    
The Portland Timbers have acquired winger Ishmael Yartey on loan from French Ligue 2 club Sochaux. ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"It was the first time in my life that I had not made a team, that ...
MLS clubs depleted because of callups    
MLS is the only top-level league with a heavy presence of national team players that didn't ...
Video Pick: How Neymar scored his 43rd goal for Brazil     
Neymar scored the decider in Brazil's 3-1 win over France. It was Brazil's seventh straight win ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives