Brazilian legend Socrates dies

Updated: 2011-12-05 07:58


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Factbox on Socrates 

Early playing days

* Born Feb 19, 1954 in Belem, a city on the banks of the Amazon river. Full name Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira. During his childhood, his family moved to Ribeirao Preto in the state of Sao Paulo.

* His brother Rai, born in 1965, played in Brazil's 1994 World Cup winning team, won the South American Libertadores Cup and world club championship with Sao Paulo and also played for Paris St Germain.

* Known alternately as the Golden Heel, Doctor Socrates and the Big Thin One, he was a smoker, drinker and a man with strong views on both football and politics.

* He was raised at Botafogo-Ribeirao Preto and quickly became their top player, even though he trained less than the rest of the squad as he was also studying medicine at the local university.

* He left Botafogo in 1978 to join Corinthians.

Playing style

* Socrates stood out with his lanky figure allied to a unqiue, apparently nonchalant playing style. He was notable for the use of the backheel and the casual manner in which he took penalties. He scored outstanding goals with both feet and could conjure up the most astute of passes.

Brazilian legend Socrates dies

Santos Football Club's Socrates runs with the ball past Cerro's Caraballo during their friendly soccer match in Santos in this November 30, 1988 file photo. The match was Socrates' first appearance on the soccer pitch in two years. [Photo/Agencies]

Corinthians and democracy

* At club level, Socrates will always be associated with his six years at Corinthians, the Sao Paulo-based club which enjoys massive support rivalled only by Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro.

* Socrates was one of the leading figures in the movement known as Democracia Corinthiana, in which everything was decided by a vote involving the club directors, technical staff and players - it worked as the team reached the semi-finals of the Brazilian championship in 1982 and won the Paulista championship in 1982 and 1983. The movement died out in 1984.

* The team would also send messages to the country's then military government, taking the field carrying banners with the words 'Direct elections now' and 'I want to vote for president.' A poster of the team carried the words 'Democracy: Winning the championship is a minor detail.'

Brazil and two world cups

* Socrates won 60 caps and scored 21 goals in his seven-year Brazil career. He made his debut in a 6-0 friendly international win against Paraguay in 1979

* Socrates was captain in 1982 and his team is widely regarded as the best side not to have won the World Cup. Playing alongside other great players such as Zico, Junior, Falcao and Eder, Brazil produced memorable performances and goals until a catalogue of defensive lapses led to a shock 3-2 defeat to Italy in a decisive second phase group game.

* He also played in the 1986 World Cup team. Less spectacular then the 1982 side, they were still favourites until they lost to France in the quarter-finals on penalties - when Socrates had one of his lazy efforts saved by Joel Bats.

* Socrates had already converted one of his unique penalties in the 4-0 win over Poland in the second round.

Brazilian legend Socrates dies

Brazil's Socrates Oliveira (R) celebrates after scoring Brazil's first goal against Poland, as Poland's goalkeeper Jozef Mlynarczyk watches, during their World Cup soccer match in Guadalajara in this June 16, 1986 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Final playing days

* Socrates had a short and unhappy spell in Italy with Fiorentina before returning to play out his career in Brazil.

* He then spent a year with Flamengo, quit the game and came out of retirement for a brief stint with Santos.


* Socrates was married with six children.

* Before the illness which led to his death, he was giving seminars about leadership and human relations. He also had a consultancy for social and cultural projects and wrote columns for newspapers and magazines. He was writing a fictional book about the 2014 World Cup. He told the Guardian newspaper in an interview that the characters would be foreigners visiting Brazil for the tournament and their experiences.

* In 2004, at the age of 50, he accepted an offer to spend one-month with English non-league team Garforth Town. He made his only appearance as a late substitute against Tadcaster Town.

   Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page