Flamengo must take initiative in Copa Sudamericana decider: Zico
Rio de Janeiro, Dec 12 (IANS) Brazil’s Flamengo must impose themselves at home to overcome a 1-2 deficit against Argentine football outfit Independiente in the Copa Sudamericana final, according to club legend Zico.
The decisive second leg will be played at the Maracana stadium here on Wednesday and Zico said Flamengo would be a more formidable opponent than the one that lost in greater Buenos Aires last week, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I watched the first game. I was in Munich but I stayed up late to watch it in my hotel. We showed that we have a balanced team,” Zico told reporters on Monday.
“Flamengo have to impose themselves here (in Rio). The fans are going to be right behind them and I will be too.”
Zico also had words of support for Flamengo’s Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who was last week handed a one-year ban by FIFA for doping.
“He is a great professional and I think the situation has been very badly explained,” Zico said.
“I don’t think he has taken anything that would make him run faster or score more goals.”
Zico, 64, was a part of Brazil’s 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup teams. He is a Flamengo idol, having spent two trophy-laden spells at the club in the 1970s and 80s.
The high-point of his time at Flamengo came in 1981 when he led the club to the 1981 Copa Libertadores-International Cup (now FIFA Club World Cup) double.