The football world and Brazil lost one of it’s most memorable citizens today when former captain Socrates died. Sócrates was admitted to intensive care in a Sao Paulo hospital on 19 August 2011 with gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to portal hypertension and was put on life-support, suffering from septic shock as a result from the intestinal infection before today’s announcement of his death. He was 57.
Sócrates was a technical playmaker, known for great through passes and his vision on the field, as well as his physical strength and a prolific goal scorer. His ability to read the game was highly valued, and his signature move was the blind heel pass. He was considered to be one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game. He played for Botafogo-SP, before joining giants Corinthians in 1978. He spent six years with the club, scoring 172 goals in 297 league games. He then moved to Italy to play for Fiorentina, before retuning to Brazil to end his career with Flamengo and Santos.
He is best remembered outside of his homeland for the sixty caps he won playing internationally for Brazil; he captained his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and also appeared at the1986 World Cup, the 1979 Copa América, and the 1983 Copa América – appearing in the defeat to Uruguay in the 1983 finals. He was named South American Footballer of the Year in 1983, and was named on Pelé’s FIFA 100 list in 2004.
Dr. Scorates was a doctor of medicine, a rare achievement for a professional footballer. Even rarer is the fact that he earned the degree while concurrently playing professional football. After retiring as a player he practised medicine at Ribeirao Preto. He and his wife had six children.
Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, MD (19 February 1954 – 4 December 2011)