Brazilian legend Mario Zagallo -- the only man to win four World Cups (twice as a player in 1958 and 1962, once as a manager in 1970 and once as an assistant in 1994) -- was held up by thieves in Rio early Tuesday near Botafogo, where he spent much of his career as a player and coach. And it was his local hero status that reportedly saved him from getting his car jacked.
Police inspector Daniela Terra said that the assault occurred in the Botafogo neighbourhood as the 80-year-old Zagallo was returning home with his wife and son.
Zagallo's car, with him at the wheel, was blocked by another vehicle with four armed men inside, who then threatened the former national team coach with handguns - but when they saw who it was they chose not to steal his car.
Isn't that nice? Even armed robbers have respect for their elderly football legends. Well, to a point.
But the assailants did steal a gold chain, a watch [belonging to Zagallo] and other personal items belonging to his son, Terra told the media.
I mean, the armed thieves weren't going to do all that work just to walk away empty handed. Plus, it's not like Zagallo's son ever won four World Cups, so he was apparently fair game.
Kidding aside, everyone thankfully came out of it OK and, in the end, those thieves were lucky Zagallo didn't decapitate them with a lightning fast combination of roundhouse kicks.
- Mario Zagallo