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Former Brazil coach Santana in intensive care

Written by: Staff

RIO DE JANEIRO, Mar 27 (Reuters) Former Brazil coach Tele Santana, who led his country at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, was in intensive care today with an intestinal infection, a hospital statement said.

The Felicio Rocho hospital in Belo Horizonte said the 74-year-old was breathing with the help of apparatus after being admitted on Saturday.

Santana was forced into retirement in 1996 following a stroke.

Three years ago, he had his left leg amputated below the knee after developing ischemia -- a decrease in blood supply caused by obstruction of the blood vessels.

Santana believed in attacking football throughout his career and the 1982 World Cup team, featuring by players such as Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Junior and Eder, took the game to new heights.

Yet, amazingly, Brazil were knocked out in the second round group stage after suicidal defending sent them crashing to a 3-2 defeat by Italy in one of the most memorable games in the sport's history.

Santana came back to lead Brazil again four years later in Mexico, when they were beaten by France in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals.

He then went on to coach a memorable Sao Paulo team in the early 1990s, winning the South American Libertadores Cup in successive years and the World Club Cup on each occasion.

He was in charge of Atletico Mineiro when they won the inaugural Brazilian championship in 1971 -- the only time Belo Horizonte's most popular club have been Brazilian champions -- and has also coached leading Brazilian clubs Fluminense, Flamengo, Palmeiras and Gremio.

Reuters SI GC2337

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