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
USA's 15ers, World Champions!    
The USA won its third Women's World Cup title with a 5-2 win over Japan before ...
ICYMI | MLS: Galaxy romps, Ishizaki then says good-bye    
Robbie Keane hit a hat trick as the LA Galaxy clobbered Toronto FC, 4-0, on Fourth ...
What They're Saying: Laura Bassett    
"I couldn't breathe, my heart was out of my chest, and I wanted the ground to ...
MLS: This weekend ...    
Robbie Keane recorded his third career hat trick with the LA Galaxy in a 4-0 win ...
Three takeaways from USA-Guatemala    
The USA tuned up for the Gold Cup with a 4-0 win over Guatemala Friday night ...
Scouting Report: USA and Japan go for a third time    
The first rematch of a final in Women's World Cup history is set for Sunday when ...
USA-Guatemala International Friendly Player Ratings    
Four years ago, the USA completed its Gold Cup preparations by beating Guatemala, 6-0, in San ...
What They're Saying: Abby Wambach    
"It's nerve-wracking. It's brutal. And I'm not saying this because I'm sitting on the bench and ...
Women's World Cup watch parties set for Sunday    
U.S. Soccer will host a viewing party for Sunday's Women's World Cup final between the USA ...
Olivia the parrot picks Japan over USA    
Olivia, a 10-year-old African gray parrot, is predicting Japan over the USA in the Women's World ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives