By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Former Brazil captain and soccer legend Sócrates, who was widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, has died at the age of 57 at a São Paulo hospital. The former footballer died of septic shock on Sunday morning following an infection which had put him on life support.
Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff said the former player was a “genius”, adding that Brazilians had lost “one of [their] most cherished sons”.
Born Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, the former footballer, who was also a qualified doctor, famously joined Corinthians in 1978 – scoring 172 goals in 297 games.
He also played for Botafogo and Fiorentina during his sporting career.
He is probably best remembered abroad for the sixty caps he won – serving as Brazil’s captain at the 1982 World Cup, and also appearing at the 1986 World Cup.
He also played for Brazil at the 1979 and 1983 Copa América tournaments, and was named South American Footballer of the Year in 1983.
The word “unique” was often attached to the soccer star who, at 6’ 4” tall, was well-known for his physical strength, but his love of tobacco and alcohol was equally well-documented.
Off the pitch, Sócrates was politically active, but he admitted that it was football that gave him “the chance to get to know human beings.”
Read more (in Portuguese).
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