Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Ohio Wesleyan mourns freshman Luke Gabbert's death    
Luke Gabbert, who had just completed his freshman season at perennial Division III power Ohio Wesleyan, ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"We are very excited about the possibilities in St. Louis. We believe it's MLS-ready. We've got ...
USA-Canada Takeaways: Year makes big difference    
The USA swept two games at a January camp for only the second time in a ...
Ashley Cole: 'I'm not a diva'    
Ashley Cole was not going to get away with his introductory press conference in Los Angeles ...
What They're Saying: Ashley Cole    
"I didn't come here to sit on the beach, to rest." -- Ashley Cole, the 35-year-old ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez and Wood get big goals    
Omar Gonzalez kept Pachuca unbeaten in the Liga MX's Torneo Apertura when he scored on a ...
Video Picks: Top 5 EPL Goals of the Week    
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Alex Chamberlain (Arsenal), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) and Jesse Lingard ...
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
Newly acquired Jack McInerney scored two goals as the defending champion Portland Timbers defeated their Cascadia ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 5-6)    
Walker Zimmerman is back with FC Dallas. The 22-year-old defender whose late goal kept it in ...
What They're Saying: David Wagner    
"It wasn't a surprise for me. I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann maybe a year ago and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives