RIO DE JANEIRO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian football icons paid their respects to former national women's team coach Oswaldo Alvarez, who died on Monday at the age of 63.
Alvarez, who was in charge of Brazil at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, died in a Sao Paulo hospital after a battle with liver cancer.
Among those to offer tributes on social media were former world player of the year winners Kaka, Rivaldo and Marta - all of whom played under Alvarez.
Kaka, voted the world's best player by FIFA in 2007, credited Alvarez for kick-starting his career as a teenager.
"You have my eternal gratitude," said Kaka, who made his debut under the manager at Sao Paulo in 2001.
"You opened the doors for me when I was a boy and nobody knew or few believed in. But you believed, taught me and gave me opportunities so that I could fly. Today is a sad day, but the memories I keep in my heart are of many happy times," Kaka wrote.
Rivaldo also had Alvarez as a manager during a spell at Mogi Mirim in the early 1990s.
"Brazilian football loses a great professional and a great man who helped me a lot in the beginning of my career," said Rivaldo, who was voted the best footballer on the planet while playing for Barcelona in 1999.
"I learned a lot from him. May God comfort his family at this very difficult time."
Marta, the current Brazilian women's team captain and six-time recipient of the world player of the year award, said: "Rest in peace, coach. You have successfully accomplished your mission on this land. I don't know anyone else like you. You knew how to live life in a dignified and honest way.
"I'm very proud to have lived wonderful moments by your side and have had the opportunity to learn a lot. Thanks for everything and rest in peace."
The Brazilian Football Confederation said the flags outside its Rio de Janeiro headquarters were flying at half-mast in a show of respect for Alvarez, who also had spells in charge of Corinthians, Athletico Paranaense and Sport Recife, among other clubs.