Thursday, September 17, 2009

Long Lost Hero Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira

He stands a place in the top 125 footballers ever, and imagine the list is made by non other then Pele  himself. This the old photo of one of the most respected and intelectual footballer in the history of football. He is a Doctor, and guess what he did his MD when he was playing proffesionally as a footballer. Hats-off to you Dr. Socrates. 
Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira (born February 19, 1954 in Belém do Pará, Brazil), more commonly known simply as Sócrates, is a former Brazilian footballer. He was an excellent assister and team organiser, with great through passes and vision of the field. He was also a two-footed player and a prolific goal scorer. His ability to read the game was highly valued, and his signature move was the blind heel pass.

Sócrates is a doctor of medicine, a rare achievement for a professional footballer (he is a graduate of the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto). Even rarer is the fact that he earned the degree while concurrently playing professional football. There are persistent rumours that Sócrates turned out for the University College Dublin. However, the player himself has denied this saying that he has never even been to Dublin.

He is also noted for being an intellectual (he holds a doctorate degree in philosophy), a heavy drinker and smoker, and for his height (193 cm, 6 ft 4 in). His brother Raí won the World Cup in 1994 and played for São Paulo and for Paris St. Germain.

Sócrates' hometown is Ribeirão Preto in São Paulo state. As one of the best midfielders in football history, Sócrates played for, and captained, Brazil in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups. He began playing football professionally in 1974 for Botafogo in Ribeirão Preto, but spent the majority of his career (1978 to 1984) with Corinthians in São Paulo, where he became famous for using football to challenge the existing military dictatorship. During his time there he co-founded the Corinthians Democracy movement. Sócrates and his team mates protested against the regime's treatment of footballers, and showed support to the wider movement for democratisation, by wearing shirts with 'Democracia' written on them during games.

Sócrates was capped sixty times for Brazil between May 1979 and June 1986. He also played for Italian club Fiorentina and the Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Santos towards the end of his career.

In 2004, more than a decade after retiring, Sócrates agreed to a one month player-coaching deal with Garforth Town of the Northern Counties East Football League in England. He made his only appearance for the club on November 20, 2004 against Tadcaster Albion, coming on as a substitute twelve minutes from time.
Pelé named him as one of the Top 125 Living Footballers in March 2004, and World Soccer named him one of 100 best footballers in history.
In October 2008, Sócrates was inducted into the Pacembu Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame.
He presently works as a practitioner of sports medicine in his hometown.

Today's Socrates

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