Soccer great Zico: Brazil '58 best team ever
July 5, 2012 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Midfielder Zico starred alongside fellow playmaker Socrates in Brazil's team of 1982.
- Football star Zico tells CNN Brazil's 1958 team is the best of all time
- Spain's Euro 2012 success has led many observers to label them the greatest
- Brazil won the 1958 World Cup with a team featuring stars such as Pele and Garrincha
- Spain are the first team to have won three consecutive major tournaments
(CNN) -- Brazilian soccer icon Zico has hailed the South American country's World Cup-winning team of 1958 as the best in the sport's history, ahead of the reigning world and European champions Spain.
After a thumping 4-0 victory over Italy in the final of Euro 2012 last weekend, Spain became the first team to win three consecutive major tournaments -- following on from triumphs at the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship of 2008.
The recent success enjoyed by Vicente del Bosque's team has led some to label them as the finest ever, leading to comparisons with other legendary teams -- such as the Brazil squad which became world champions in 1970.
But former "selecao" star Zico, currently coach of the Iraq national team, selected the Brazil team which lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in Sweden 54 years ago as the finest in football history.
Spain crowned Euro 2012 champions
Spain celebrates historic Euro 2012 win
The greatest football team: Spain 2012 vs. Brazil 1970?
"For me the best national team of all time is the Brazilian team from 1958," Zico, who was part of the much-heralded Brazil team which reached the second group stage of the 1982 World Cup, exclusively told CNN.
Is victorious Spain the best team ever?
"Quite simply because it had, in my opinion, the best players in the world. Pele and Garrincha. They scored a bag full of goals and put in a show in almost every game."
Pele rose to prominence as a 17-year-old at the 1958 tournament, scoring six goals including a brace in Brazil's 5-2 defeat of hosts Sweden in the final.
The striker is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers the sport has ever seen and, after being hampered by injury during his country's 1962 World Cup win, he was a key figure in Brazil's 1970 success.
Garrincha was a tricky winger who not only won the World Cup in 1958, but starred as Brazil retained the trophy in Chile four years later. His four goals made him joint top goalscorer alongside teammate Vava.
The flamboyant Garrincha, who spent the vast majority of his career with Rio de Janeiro-based Botafogo, died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1983 aged 49.
Strutting midfielder Zico is fondly remembered by many football fans for his stylish contribution to the Brazil team which lit up the 1982 competition in Spain, alongside playmaker Socrates.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.