Descanse Em Paz; Rest In Peace Socrates

Posted: December 4, 2011 in soccer, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira: 1954 - 2011

As you are well aware by now, the legendary Sócrates has died this morning, December 4 2011; from septic shock.

I have never seen Socrates play apart from clips through documentaries and Youtube. Clearly, he was long before my generation had even come into fruition. What I have heard however, from those who lived in his era, was that Socrates was a timeless personage – both on and off the pitch.

He captained the much acclaimed Brazil team 0f 1982 – widely regarded as the best team to never win a World Cup.  Although they fell at the hands of Paolo Rossi’s Italy in the final, that Brazilian team was ridiculously entertaining to watch.

And off the field, he was just as charismatic.

From The Guardian:

Sócrates was one of the very few qualified medical doctors to play the game at the very highest level, captaining Brazil in the 1982 World Cup, widely recognised as one of the best teams (along with Hungary in 1954 and Holland in 1974) never to win the tournament. His style of play was unmistakable; elegant and effortless almost to the point of nonchalance, and with a penchant for the back-heel that prompted Pelé to remark that Socrates played better going backwards than most footballers going forward.

At a time when most people were still afraid to speak out against the regime, he politicised football in a way no other player has even attempted, before or since. And he was as proud of his team’s valiant contribution in helping dismantle the dictatorship as he was his considerable football achievements. At the end of 1982, Corinthians won the São Paulo state championship with “Democracia” printed on the back of their black shirts. Sócrates said it was “perhaps the most perfect moment I ever lived. And I’m sure it was for 95% of [my teammates] too”.

• Sócrates (Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira), footballer, born 19 February 1954; died 4 December 2011

I send my condolences and prayers to the family of this legend, and to the entire nation of Brazil.


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