Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Carlos Alberto inspired Brazil's greatest ever team to glory

By Robert Jones

Carlos Alberto, the captain of Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning side, has died aged 72 from a heart attack. The defender scored one of the most memorable goals in the history of the World Cup, sealing the 4-1 win over Italy in the 1970 final in Mexico City.

It was Alberto who completed a brilliant team move with a powerful angled drive from the right side of the penalty area before lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Alberto's death was confirmed through a statement on the official website of the Brazil Football Federation.

More: Carlos Alberto: The night I went toe-to-toe with Brazilian icon over Northern Ireland

"It is with huge regret from the CBF (Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol) that the world of football has been surprised by the death of Carlos Alberto Torres on Tuesday (October 25)," the statement read.

"The legend of the Brazilian national team, the captain of the three-time winners of 1970, died in Rio de Janeiro, victim of a heart attack.

"The wake will be held at the CBF building in Barra da Tijuca. Details will be informed soon.

"The president of the CBF, Marco Polo Del Nero, has declared official mourning for three days. The organisation's headquarters flags are half-mast. All matches in competitions organised by the CBF will have one minute of silence.

"At 72, Carlos Alberto Torres leaves a huge legacy of achievements and intense collaboration for the development of our football."

The statement concluded: "Thank you, Capita. Your story will forever be with us."

A message posted on Alberto's official Facebook page read: "With great regret we inform you that, on the morning of this Tuesday, our eternal captain, Carlos Alberto Torres, passed away in Rio de Janeiro. #Capitaeterno."

Alberto's former club Santos, for whom he played more than 400 games and helped win the domestic Brazilian title four times between 1967 and 1973, also revealed there would be three days of official mourning for a player "considered the best right-back in the history of Praiano Alvinegro".

Former Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer, himself a World Cup winner in 1974, paid tribute to "one of his best friends" in a post on his official Twitter account, @beckenbauer, which included a photo of the pair together from a charity trip to Brazil in 2013.

"Heidi and me are deeply shocked. Carlos Alberto was like a brother to me, one of my best friends," the German wrote.

Alberto won a total of 53 caps for Brazil, retiring from international football in 1978 following a battle against persistent knee problems.

He also helped Fluminense secure domestic trophies before later in his career enjoying a spell with New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League alongside Pele.

The Brazilian moved into management at his former club Flamengo, where his side won the Brazilian championship in 1983, as well as spending time in charge at Corinthians and Fluminense.

Alberto also held coaching roles with Nigeria and Oman before being appointed to take over as national boss of Azerbaijan in 2004. His time there included clashes with Lawrie Sanchez's Northern Ireland and Sven-Goran Eriksson's England.

The former World Cup-winning captain remained a popular figure in Brazil, recently working as a commentator for broadcaster TV Globo on the SporTV cable channel and featured just days before his death.

Local media report Alberto had fallen ill at his home in the Barra da Tijuca district of Rio before being taken to the Hospital Rio Mar, where it is said the 72-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph