Brazilian football great Carlos Alberto has died aged 72 following a heart attack.
Alberto had scored one of the greatest goals in FIFA World Cup history while captaining Brazil to glory in the 1970 final against Italy in Mexico.
He was a classy defender who played for Fluminense, Santos, Flamengo and the Cosmos and earned the nickname ‘The Captain’ for his leadership qualities.
According to The Guardian, Carlos Alberto Torres, to give him his full name, was born in Rio’s Vila da Penha neighborhood and was just 25 when he won the World Cup, making him the youngest captain to win the tournament.
He was a gifted, attacking full-back, coming through the ranks at Fluminense before moving on to Santos, where he was a team-mate of Pele’s.
Image: Carlos Alberto
He won titles with both clubs and was a regular in the Brazil side by the age of 20. He was surprisingly dropped for the 1966 World Cup but was the obvious choice as next skipper when the role became vacant in 1968.
By that time he was already the Santos captain and his leadership skills stood out, earning him the armband ahead of other more senior – and World Cup-winning – candidates.
It was a shrewd decision, vindicated when Carlos Alberto kissed and held aloft the Jules Rimet trophy in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium.
Mexico 1970 was to prove his only World Cup in a career that saw him win 53 international caps and play for 19 years. He won further honours as a coach with Flamengo, Fluminense and Botafogo and also took charge of sides in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Oman and Azerbaijan before retiring in 2005.
His life away from football kept him firmly in the spotlight as a politician and in his later years as a football commentator.
He was married three times, including to Brazilian actress Teresinha Sodre.
Carlos Alberto had two children from his first wife, Sueli, with his son Alexander making a single appearance for Brazil in 1992.