Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America 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
The Good, the Bad and -- FA Cup shockers     
Europe in a nutshell: Paul Pogba, Lionel Messi and Neymarin moving pictures; Lyon sizzling hot in ...
Fire revamps with three new DPs    
The Chicago Fire has added Scottish international Shaun Maloney to the growing list of British players ...
Tab Ramos: 'We were behind the eight ball'    
The USA beat El Salvador, 2-0, on Saturday to qualify for the 2015 U-20 World Cup ...
D.C. United kicks off 2015 with DP upgrade    
Shortly before D.C. United players and coaches headed to Bradenton, Florida, for the first phase of ...
What They're Saying: Antonio Conte    
"What else should he have done? In a few years' time players will be elbowing each ...
What They're Saying: Josh Williams    
"I'm pretty sure he thinks I work at the hotel..." -- New York City FC defender ...
MLS players seek choice from 'league of choice'    
On a scale of 1-10 in terms of free agency, the free-agency rights MLS players enjoy ...
A dream come true    
Taylor Leach, a two-time first-team All-SEC defender at the University of South Carolina, will continue her ...
Klinsmann trims U.S. squad, adds Yedlin for Chile trip    
U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 23-player roster for the friendlies against Chile ...
What They're Saying: Tally Hall    
"The league is looking to invest in itself. That's why the DPs are coming in, and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives