Pele’s favorite teammate and World Cup winner Coutinho dies
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian striker Coutinho, a 1962 World Cup winner who Pele considered his favorite attacking partner at Santos FC, died on Monday. He was 75.
Santos announced Coutinho’s death in a statement. The club said he died at home and his funeral will be at Santos’ stadium.
The cause of Coutinho’s death was not immediately released. TV Globo reported that had a heart attack.
In January, he was taken to a hospital because of pneumonia, and he also suffered from diabetes.
“A legend of our football died,” said Cafu, a close friend who played on Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning squad.
While Pele was dazzling the world as a 17-year-old sensation at the 1958 World Cup, Coutinho was having his debut at Santos at age 14.
He scored 368 goals for the club. Pele netted 1,091 for the Brazilian team.
They played together at Santos from 1958 to 1967 and won 19 titles together.
Pele recently told a Santos magazine that Coutinho was one of the main reasons for his success.
“I have to thank him for 50 percent of the goals I scored for Santos. It was because of our one-twos and because he knew me,” Pele said.
Coutinho played only 15 times for Brazil, which he blamed on a series of injuries.