04 December, 2011

The Soccer Doctor dies: his Corinthians side pay the ultimate tribute by this evening winning their fifth Brasileirão (Brasilian Premier League) Title:

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           Sócrates; captain and star of Brazil's 1982 FIFA World Cup side has died around 4a.m. today (UK and Ireland time) aged 57 of intestinal cancer.  The man who dubbed himself the  "anti-athlete"  was, as a qualified medical doctor, one of the most intelligent ever to play the "beautiful game."   Quite incredibly, he graduated as a doctor whilst also a professional footballer with his native Corinthians.  Upon retiring from football, he practiced medicine at Ribeirão Preto Hospital in São Paulo.
           He was also hailed as captain of the  "greatest side never to win the World Cup"  -  that 1982 Selecéao side;  containing stars such as Oscar, Serginho, Júnior, Falcão and Zico.  Garnering 60 caps for A Seleção;  he captained a side who played football the way the football gods wanted it to be played.  Just such a shame that they could not lift the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Sócrates was a global soccer icon
              Pelé named him as one of the Top 125 living Footballers in 2004 and famed football magaine;  "World Soccer"  named him one of the 100 best footballers of the 20th century.  In October 2008;  Sócrates was admitted into the Pacembu Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame.
"This is for Socrates" - Corinthians commemorate
       There is a myth that Sócrates studied medicine in Dublin, and that during this time he played reserve football for Unversity College Dublin whilst studying Medicine in Ireland.
            As a chain smoker and alcoholic, the man himself openly admitted that he lived his life the opposite way to what a professional athlete should, but it never, ever affected his performance on the pitch.  Eventually though it did catch up to his health.  Having spent six days in intensive care, he finally lost his battle for life.  He is survived by his wife and six children.
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