Brazil foot­ball great Car­los Al­berto dies at 72

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Car­los Al­berto, who scored one of the great­est goals in World Cup his­tory while cap­tain­ing Brazil to glory in the 1970 fi­nal against Italy, has died aged 72 following a heart at­tack.

The ma­raud­ing right back scored Brazil’s fourth goal in their 4-1 win over Italy in Mex­ico’s Azteca Sta­dium, a thump­ing drive that ended a move in­volv­ing nine play­ers, be­fore hoist­ing the Jules Rimet tro­phy as Brazil won the title for the third time.

“Car­los Al­berto Tor­res was an ex­am­ple of guts and lead­er­ship,” Brazil Pres­i­dent Michel Te­mer said on Twit­ter. “I’m sad­dened by the loss of the cap­tain who led Brazil to their third World Cup win.” The classy de­fender played for Flu­mi­nense, San­tos, Fla­mengo and New York Cos­mos and earned the nick­name “The Cap­tain” for his lead­er­ship qual­i­ties. He won his first ti­tles at Flu­mi­nense in his home city of Rio de Janeiro but his best days were at San­tos, where along­side his friend Pele, he won two first di­vi­sion ti­tles and five Sao Paulo state tro­phies.

He was also one of the first ma­jor soccer tal­ents to play in the U.S. when he joined New York Cos­mos. “We’re deeply sad­dened by the loss of Car­los Al­berto, a leg­endary player and won­der­ful per­son,” the New York club said on Twit­ter. “He’ll al­ways re­main part of the Cos­mos fam­ily.” Af­ter re­turn­ing to Brazil as a coach, he led Fla­mengo to the Brazil­ian first di­vi­sion in 1983 and Flu­mi­nense to the Rio de Janeiro state cham­pi­onship in 1984.

On re­tir­ing from the game he worked as a com­men­ta­tor and brand am­bas­sador, but will al­ways be re­mem­bered for his lead­ing role in the 1970 Brazil side, a team that is of­ten re­ferred to as the great­est of all time.

He cap­tained a group of play­ers who went to Mex­ico un­der a new man­ager, who had been given lit­tle time in which bed in. Car­los Al­berto was a nat­u­ral leader, even in a team that boasted all-time greats such as Pele, Tostao, Riv­el­lino and Jairz­inho.

Many of the play­ers were cap­tains at their club sides but de­ferred to Car­los Al­berto, who had poise and pres­ence and was not averse to dress­ing down his more cel­e­brated team mates. Tributes poured in from around the foot­ball world with world soccer’s gov­ern­ing body FIFA call­ing him a “born leader” and San­tos declar­ing three days of mourn­ing. “San­tos FC are sad­dened by the death of idol Car­los Al­berto Tor­res,” the club said. “He played 445 matches and scored 40 goals be­tween 1965 and 1975 and is con­sid­ered the great­est full back in the club’s his­tory.” — Reuters

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