Arthur Antunes Coimbra, better known as Zico, one of the greatest soccer players ever, turns 63 years old this Thursday (March 3). One of the similarities between the former star of the Brazilian national squad and Ayrton Senna is the fact that both men became idols in Brazil as well as in Japan.
While Ayrton Senna won his three world titles in Suzuka (1988, 1990 and 1991), Zico also had a vital role in developing his own sport in Japan. Besides acting as coach for the local national squad, Zico played in Japan from 1991 to 1994, when he ended his career.
In 1993, Zico was living in Japan, and he joined Ayrton Senna for an interview in which they discussed how much pride their triumphs brought to both the Brazilian and the Japanese people. The interview was recorded in Portuguese for Fuji TV on October 19 of that year. Five days later, Senna would go on to win the Japanese Grand Prix – his 40th victory in F1.
Watch the chat between the athletes who, at the end of the interview, exchanged gifts. Zico gave Senna a football and an autographed jersey of his team at the time, the Kashima Antlers. Ayrton Senna, in turn, gifted his friend his iconic helmet. (only portuguese)