RIO DE JANEIRO: The Brazilian football confederation has confirmed the death of former left-back and coach Rildo da Costa Menezes , who played in the 1966 World Cup in England and was a teammate of Pelé at Santos.

Rildo , who played for Ibis, Santos, Botafogo and Sport Recife and in the United States for Cosmos, California Lazers, Cleveland Force, California Suns and Cleveland Cobras, died on Sunday at 79 in Los Angeles.

A CBF statement said: “It is with deep consternation that the CBF received the news of the death of Rildo , a former lateral of the Brazilian team and of great clubs of our football.

“In total, he played 49 games with the Brazilian team shirt, with 35 wins, 4 draws and 10 losses. His only goal with Canarinha was precisely in one of the most important moments of his career, when he was part of the squad that traveled to England for the 1966 World Cup.”

Rildo was São Paulo state champion for three consecutive years with Santos in 1967, 1968 and 1969.

With Brazil he won the Roca Cup, the Rio Branco Cup and the Oswaldo Cruz Cup.