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Antônio Carlos Zago

Antônio Carlos
Full nameAntônio Carlos Zago
Date of birth (1969-03-14) 14 March 1969 (age 46)
Place of birthPresidente Prudente, Brazil
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Playing positionCentre back
Club information
Current team
Shakhtar Donetsk (assistant)
Senior career*
1990–1992São Paulo64(4)
1996–1997Kashiwa Reysol24(0)
National team
Teams managed
2009–2010São Caetano
2010Grêmio Prudente
2011Mogi Mirim
2011Vila Nova
2012Audax São Paulo
2013AS Roma (assistant coach)
2013–Shakhtar Donetsk (assistant coach)

Antônio Carlos Zago, widely known as "Antônio Carlos" or "A.C. Zago", (born 14 March 1969 in Presidente Prudente) is a former Brazilian footballer and current coach.

Club career

Born in Presidente Prudente, a city of the state of São Paulo, also having Italian origins, began professional football in São Paulo FC, where he remained for three years and then signed to Albacete Balompié, Spain, where he stayed for only one season. He returned to his homeland, this time to Palmeiras, another team of São Paulo and a rival to his previous Brazilian team. After three years emigrated again, this time in Japan, Kashiwa Reysol, where once again remained for only one year before returning to play again in São Paulo, but this time at Corinthians, being one of the few players who have played in all the three biggest teams of the city and arch rivals as well.[1]

In January 1998 Zago moved to Rome, wanted by Zdenek Zeman to reinforce the defence line. In his game debut, 11 February 1998 (Lecce-Roma) was expelled after a few minutes of play, but with the club giallorossi improved his quality and skill, so that in 1999 he recalled to his National Assembly. At Rome Zago played for five years and was also part of the Scudetto-winning team in 2001, a fact which remains an idol to the public romanista, who called him Terminator. That year Zago formed a rocky defence well supported by his compatriot Aldair and Argentinian Walter Samuel as well.[2]

In November 1999 Zago was the protagonist of a shocking episode, when he hit in the face Lazio player Diego Simeone during a derby. The outcome was a positive attitude towards him by the fans, who pay tribute to his action in the song "Brusco", the phrases "Zago: spits fire as a dragon" and "people can ssolo stà wetsuit, artrimenti AC Zago je spits". Zago is also one of the few Brazilian players who is known with his name and surname. During the years he spent to Rome he had chosen his name on the shirt to be written in different ways, the first "ANTÔNIO CARLOS", then "AC ZAGO" then simply "ZAGO."[3]

In 2002 he left Rome and after a year of inactivity went to Turkey and signed with the Beşiktaş, before returning to Brazil in August 2004 to Santos. In 2005 and 2006 played in Juventude. He closed his career in 2007 with Santos.[4]

International career

Zago debuted with the Brazil national team on 30 October 1991 against Yugoslavia (3–1) and remained within the national squad until 1993. After a period of light and shadows, only after moving to Rome again he managed to stand out, and then he returned to the national team, where between 1998 and 2001 he collected 26 caps and scored two goals, and was part of the squad that won the 1999 Copa América. In total, he made 37 appearances for Brazil, scoring three goals.

Club career statistics


Club performance League
Season Club League Apps Goals
Brazil League
1990 São Paulo Série A 21 1
1991 21 1
1992 22 2
Spain League
1992/93 Albacete Balompié La Liga 12 1
Brazil League
1993 Palmeiras Série A 18 1
1994 21 1
1995 20 1
Japan League
1996 Kashiwa Reysol J. League 1 24 0
1997 0 0
Brazil League
1997 Corinthians Paulista Série A 12 2
Italy League
1997/98 Roma Serie A 12 0
1998/99 28 0
1999/00 27 2
2000/01 28 0
2001/02 12 0
Turkey League
2002/03 Beşiktaş Süper Lig 31 2
2003/04 25 0
Brazil League
2004 Santos Série A 7 0
2005 Juventude Série A 30 1
2006 22 1
2007 Santos Série A 1 0
Country Brazil 195 11
Spain 12 1
Japan 24 0
Italy 107 2
Turkey 56 2
Total 394 16

International career statistics

Brazil national team
Year Apps Goals
1991 2 0
1992 3 1
1993 6 0
1994 0 0
1995 0 0
1996 0 0
1997 0 0
1998 3 0
1999 12 0
2000 10 2
2001 1 0
Total 37 3



23x15px São Paulo

23x15px Palmeiras

23x15px Corinthians

23x15px Roma

23x15px Beşiktaş

23x15px Santos

National team

Managerial career

In June 2009, after an unsuccessful experience as technical director at Corinthians,[6] Zago signed a deal as a manager with São Caetano.

As a coach, he had a promising start in the 2010 Paulista Championship and enjoyed a historic win against his former team Palmeiras at Parque Antarctica.[7] The feat brought him close to the traditional Palmeiras leaders and on 18 February 2010, he signed with Parque Antarctica club.[8]

However, issues with the squad and criticism against Palmeiras' poor performances motivated his resignation three months later.[9]

In January 2013 he returned to AS Roma, this time as an assistant coach. On 16 October 2013, he was appointed by Shakhtar Donetsk as their new assistant manager joining his former Beşiktaş coach Mircea Lucescu.


External links