ZICO : What MESSI is today, ZICO used to be in the 1980s
ZICO missed the 1st season of his 2 year spell at Serie A club Udinese due to injuries, but in his 2nd season he scored 22 goals - for a team, that except for him and Italian veteran winger Franco Causio, was pretty average; in a league that was so defensive that many of the big games went by not only without goals, but even without ANY SERIOUS ATTEMPT ON GOAL (!). High-profile signings like Platini (1982), Boniek (1982), Zico (1983), Sòcrates (1983) and Rummenigge (1984) were motivated by the idle hope that foreign players could achieve what the homegrown ones of that era had proven incapable of doing. Platini, himself a Frenchman of Italian extraction, scored as many goals as Zico - the crucial difference between them was that the playmaker of Juventus Turin played alongside Polish worldclass attacker Zbigniev Boniek and 6 Italian World Cup winners whereas Zico was mostly left to fend for himself. <br />Strange as it may seem, the true origin of the Serie A`s rise to become the world`s most glamourous football league lay in a crisis. "Zona mista", the Italian defensive tactics, threatened to kill the game. Signing foreign superstars alone was not enough. <br />The true Revolution occurred at a time when Platini, Zico, Rummenigge and Boniek had long turned their backs on the Serie A.