Socrates dead according to reports

PA Sport
Socrates
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Socrates

Brazil legend Socrates has died at the age of 57, according to reports in his home country.

The Brazilian media, quoting sources at the Albert Einstein Israeli Hospital in Sao Paulo where Socrates was being treated for food poisoning, say he died this morning.

His wife and a friend also fell ill after also eating infected stroganoff at a nearby hotel, reports said. But, owing to his already ill-heath - this was his third hospital admission of the year - he was unable to recover.

Speaking after his initial hospitalisation in August, the former midfield great revealed his poor condition was the result of alcohol abuse.

Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, a cultured midfielder who won 60 caps for the Brazil national side, scoring 22 goals. He captained the 'Selecao' at the 1982 World Cup and also played at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, although never managed to win football's biggest prize.

His club career included spells at Botafogo, Corinthians, Fiorentina, Flamengo and Santos, while in 2004 he famously came out of retirement at the age of 50 to make a one-off substitute appearance for English lower-league side Garforth Town.

Simon Clifford, the man who was responsible for taking Socrates to Garforth, was quick to pay his respects.

Writing on his Twitter page, he said: "Another sad weekend for football with the passing of our friend Socrates, wonderful player & principled man who stood by his values, RIP."

A qualified doctor - he took his exams while playing - Socrates was named in World Soccer`s top 100 players of all-time and was put up as one of compatriot Pele`s 125 greatest-ever players.

His brother Rai succeeded where he failed, winning the World Cup with Brazil in 1994.

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