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domingo, diciembre 04, 2011

Socrates, RIP

The BBC reports:

With an unwavering fondness for cigarettes and alcohol, the lifestyle of Brazilian football legend Socrates would probably be met with a disapproving eye from many managers in the modern game.

But then again they just might cut a little slack to the larger-than-life midfield maestro, who died aged 57 on Sunday.

For Socrates, with his almost-telepathic vision and ability to unlock a defence with either foot, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

Throw in his stylish Bjorn Borg-style headband and beard combos, the man born as Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira became the symbol of cool for a whole generation of football supporters.

But then Socrates was never a stereotypical footballer.

With philosophical views as strong as his famous Classical Greek namesake, he was never unduly worried about expressing his opinion and became almost as well-known for his political opinions and activism as for his football.

The two passions famously came together as part of the Corinthians Democracy movement in the mid-1980s, when towards the end of Brazil's military dictatorship, the Sao Paulo club became the only one in the world run on a democratic basis, as a symbol of rejection of the military regime.

Most Brazilian footballers of his age were likely to have named predecessors such as Pele or Garrincha as their idols. Not so Socrates.

His heroes included Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, the men who led the Cuban revolution of the 1950s, and ex-Beatle and anti-war protestor John Lennon.

He will be missed.

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