15 June 1983, Zico welcomed in Udine like a king: 5 thousand at the airport to acclaim him

Forty-one years agoUdinese purchased Arthur Antunes Coimbra, commonly called Zico. For the Friulians it is a very important day because it managed to give enormous joy to all the Juventus supporters. The Brazilian was considered the best footballer in the world at the time and as many as 5,000 fans mobilized to go and welcome him at the Ronchi dei Legionari airport on ATI’s Dc 9 Liguria, on board which was the ace from the Flamengo for 6 billion lire.

At 1.52pm, the time at which Zico’s plane lands, the footballer is greeted by a crowd of people. Udinese then allowed the journalists present and some supporters to board the bus provided by the company that would take Zico and his wife to Udine, to Là di Moret, where another 1,000 were waiting to celebrate him like a king.

Fate has it that, two days later, he will make his debut in a friendly against… Flamengo. In the 40th minute he came on in place of Surjak, who was sold to allow the club to sign Zico. For the midfielder only 5 minutes to delight the 40 thousand in the stands before the freezing shower. The FIGC and president Sordillo rejected his purchase and infuriated the entire city of Udine, which also took to the streets on July 4th to protest. The result? The CONI Board agreed with the company, which recorded 26,611 season tickets that year.