(Reuters) – Former Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, once regarded as among the world’s best, died at the age of 67 on Wednesday after a short respiratory illness.
Outstanding at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico where Uruguay reached the semi-finals before losing to Brazil, Mazurkiewicz shone for Penarol in his country’s first division in the latter half of the 1960s.
He won three league titles, the South American Libertadores Cup and Intercontinental Cup in 1966 with Penarol and also a Brazilian league championship with Atletico Mineiro in 1971.
Mazurkiewicz also played at the 1966 World Cup in England, where he denied the hosts with a string of saves in a 0-0 draw in the opening match, and the 1974 finals in West Germany.
Uruguayan newspapers quoted former goalkeeper Fernando Alvez, a successor to Mazurkiewicz in the Uruguay team, recounting how when the teams met Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip before kickoff at Wembley, he had told the consort in Spanish "You really are on show".
Team mates, who were taken aback at the time, later said the remark helped them overcome the tension of the match.
Mazurkiewicz is widely remembered for being on the receiving end of a stroke of genius by Pele at the 1970 World Cup when he came out towards the edge of his box to meet the Brazilian who was chasing a through pass.
Pele deceived Mazurkiewicz by letting the ball go by while running past and round him to pick it up the other side only for his shot on the turn to go just wide of the far post as the keeper scuttled back.
(Writing by Rex Gowar in London, editing by Alan Baldwin)
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