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Former Brazil soccer captain Socrates dies

12-05-2011 09:27 BJT

SAO PAULO, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazil soccer legend Socrates, the skipper at the 1982 World Cup, died on Sunday from an intestinal infection aged 57.

Former Brazil soccer legend Socrates (Front). Socrates, the skipper at the 1982
World Cup, died on Sunday from an intestinal infection aged 57. (Xinhua File Photo)

Socrates, who captained the 1982 Brazil squad widely regarded as the best Brazil side never to have won the World Cup, was taken to the hospital late Friday after suffering food poisoning.

He had been in critical condition in an intensive care unit, breathing with the help of a ventilator, according to a statement by the Albert Einstein hospital.

Socrates was twice hospitalized in intensive care in the last few months, the last time in September. Both times he was admitted for a hemorrhage caused by high pressure in the vein that carries blood from the digestive system to the liver.

Socrates has acknowledged being a heavy drinker, even when he starred as a player in the 1980s.

Socrates was above average both on and off the field. He became a doctor after retiring from soccer and later became a popular TV commentator and columnist, always with unique and controversial opinions. He never denied his fondness to drinking, from the time he was a player until his final days, the AP said.

Socrates was included in FIFA's list of the best 125 living soccer players in the world, a list compiled by countryman Pele. Socrates played 63 matches with the national team, scoring 25 goals.

He was known for his great vision on the field. Always clever with the ball on his feet, his trademark move was his back-heel pass, and he set up and scored many goals with it throughout his career.

Socrates briefly coached and played for Garforth Town in England in 2004.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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