the final of the Confederations Cup
1982 World Cup - Rossi hat-trick sinks Brazil
The team stands out as a glorious example of football's expressive possibilities, accumulating perhaps the most stunning series of goals any side has ever scored in the course of a single World Cup.
And there is a run of eight consecutive goals in which Zico either scored or was instrumental in the build-up.
An astute tactician - a quality which helped him in his role as Japan manager at the 2006 World Cup - Zico is aware that that Brazil team was not perfect. Eder played wide on the left, but there was nobody carrying out a similar role on the other flank, leaving right-back Leandro isolated.
"I think we got a little lopsided," he concludes. "Today, analysing it as coach, I think that if we had had time to train with our midfield quartet it would have been fine.
"We would have been able to adapt; but halfway through the World Cup I think our coach [Tele Santana] should have looked at myself, Falcao, Cerezo and Socrates to take one of us out, bringing in Paulo Isidoro to do a job on the right."
Even so, he is acutely aware of having been part of something magnificent, knowledge that has always helped dull the pain of defeat.
"Brazil played well, everyone loved it, but we didn't win," he says. "I've always seen football as a game. You lose or win. I've never looked back on it with desperation. We did what we could.
Zico was known as the 'White Pele' for his goalscoring ability and playmaking skills
"I did everything possible. I prepared myself as well as I could to play well and to represent my country. We didn't win - so be it."
But he does recognise that the defeat of the 1982 side might have been bad for the game: "Perhaps it left the lesson that the important thing is to win no matter how.
"If you have to kill a move, stop the game and make fouls to win, it shall be done."
In common with many of his old colleagues, he sees plenty to celebrate in the recent rise of the Spain/Barcelona school. Spain are the current world and European champions, Barcelona have won numerous domestic and European trophies, all with a distinct possession-based brand of play known as tiki-taka.
"I do recognise them as our heirs," he says.
"They use an element that Brazil used to use, and that was ball possession, moving the ball from one side to the other, they tire their rivals out, and this is something we did.
"But," an observation repeated by almost all his 1982 team-mates, "we got to the opposing goal faster than Spain or Barcelona".
Brilliant Brazil crush Spain in the final of the Confederations Cup
He was happy to celebrate Brazil's 3-0 win over Spain in the final of the Confederations Cup in 2013, and sees it as a blueprint for home success again this year.
"I hope to see the same approach from Brazil as in the Confederations Cup; trying to impose its game, trying to impose its rhythm, trying to impose the fact that they are playing at home; because that is the only way they will have the fans with them," he says.
"We have great players; but if you start off squeezing your opponent, going for the goal and marking well then the fans are with you, and this makes a difference."
We shall soon find out if it will be enough for the World Cup to be kind to Brazil's class of 2014.
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