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Sócrates Biography

A man like Doctor Socrates will never be seen on the pitch again, yet he was a fan favorite. Why? Because his philosophy of the game and understanding of football differed greatly from those of the others. Sócrates Biography will be all about that philosophy.

While he was on the field, the chant “SOC-RA-TEES, SOC-RA-TEES” echoed through the stands and into the locker room. The prime days of his career were a sight to see. However, like all the other players, Socrates grew old and had to hang his boots. His distinctively untidy beard and shorter, greying hair were still present at the end of his career.

He never fully understood what his teammates talked about. Nevertheless, despite his limited English language skills, he felt at ease enough to give his new comrades a motivational speech of his own. His mere presence gave his teammates energy and encouragement to run faster, dribble better, and give their 110 for the game. This is the story of a legend; welcome to Sócrates Biography.

Sócrates Biography, Also Known as The New Football Philosophy


In this article on Sócrates biography, we will cover all the information available about this player. The various sections of the Sócrates biography article include his early days, career, life outside the field, and the legacy that he left behind.

Sócrates Information


Before we get into the article on Sócrates’ biography, here are a few lines of Sócrates’ stats you should take a look at.

  • Sócrates Real Name: Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira e Oliveira
  • Nickname: Doctor Sócrates
  • Profession: Ex-footballer

Physical Stats

  • Height:  1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
  • Hair Color: Dark Brown
  • Weight: 85 Kg

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 4 December 2011
  • Birthplace: Belém, Pará, Brazil
  • Nationality: Brazilian

Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Professional Debut: 1974
  • Jersey Number: 8

So now, without further delay, let us hop into Sócrates’ life story.

Sócrates Profile

Credit: Imago

Football legend Sócrates, who possessed exceptional talent and charisma, had a fantastic career beyond the game’s confines. He began at Botafogo-SP, where he showed early promise by winning the Torneio Vicente Feola in 1976. He orchestrated victories after joining Corinthians, helping the team win the Campeonato Paulista in 1979, 1982, and 1983. A creative force at Flamengo, he expanded his collection in 1986 by acquiring the Taça Rio and Campeonato Carioca.

Sócrates proudly wore the Brazilian shirt on the world stage. While he was unable to win the Copa América, he showed his talent by placing third in 1979 and second in 1983. He got numerous honors for himself, from being named to the FIFA 100 list of the greatest players in history to being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Brazilian Football Museum.

Sócrates’ influence was felt worldwide and he was ranked as the 61st greatest player of the 20th century by World Soccer. He was a multidimensional talent who won the Bola de Prata award in 1980 and was the top scorer in the Campeonato Paulista in 1976. His inclusion in the 1982 FIFA XI lineup demonstrated his widespread acclaim.

However, as seen by his 1983 selection as South American Footballer of the Year, his impact extended beyond the field. In 2007, the FAI International Football Awards honored his global persona, and in 1982, his selection to the World Soccer Team of the Year attested to his extraordinary talent.

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Football Career

Credit: Corinthians

Belém do Pará is where Socrates was born. He started playing football professionally in 1974 for Botafogo-SP in Ribeiro Preto, although he played for Corinthians for the majority of his career (1978 to 1984), scoring 172 goals in 297 games overall and 41 goals in 59 Brazilian Série A games.

Sócrates traveled for the first time in 1984–1985 when he joined Fiorentina and played in the Italian Serie A at the age of 30. After that one season, he returned to his own country, playing for Flamengo, Santos, and his old team Botafogo-SP until retiring in 1989. He played 20 games for Flamengo during his time there, scored 5 goals, and captured the Campeonato Carioca in 1986.

Sócrates signed a one-month player-coaching contract with Garforth Town of the Northern Counties East Football League in England in 2004, more than ten years after his retirement. On November 20 against Tadcaster Albion, he made his lone club debut, entering as a replacement twelve minutes from the end.

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International Career


Between May 1979 and June 1986, Sócrates received 60 caps for Brazil and scored 22 goals. He played in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and led his country at the FIFA World Cup in 1982. The game’s lone goal against Spain in the group stage was the first of his two goals in the latter edition. He added a second goal in the 4-0 victory against Poland in the round of 16, scoring his penalty without moving. In the subsequent shootout against France, he attempted to score in a similar manner, but Jol Bats saved his attempt, allowing France to advance to the semifinals.

Sócrates additionally represented his nation in the Copa América competitions in 1979 and 1983. He played in just one game in the latter, the second leg of the final versus Uruguay (1-1 draw at home, 3-1 overall loss).

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Sócrates Death


Sócrates’ health started to deteriorate in 2011, and it was believed that his alcohol use was a part of this. He was being treated for gastrointestinal bleeding brought on by portal hypertension when he was brought into the Albert Einstein Hospital in So Paulo’s intensive care unit on August 19. He spent nine days in the hospital before being discharged, only to return there the following month for a further 17 days to deal with a liver condition. On December 1, a serious health incident that required life support when food poisoning turned into septic shock marked the end of the year. The football community lamented Sócrates’ passing on December 4, 2011, at the age of 57. His six children and wife are evidence of the strong family he established.

Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, paid tribute to the late great and said that the country had said goodbye to “one of its most cherished sons.” She praised both his athletic prowess and his advocacy off the field, emphasizing his persistent commitment to his people and his country.

Before their game against Palmeiras, which finished in a 0-0 draw and gave Corinthians their first Brazilian championship in six years, the Corinthians supporters paid tribute to their idol with moving signs and a moment of silence. This result aligned with Sócrates’ desire to leave on a Sunday when Corinthians won a championship. Before their league encounter against Roma, Fiorentina also observed a moment of respect and honored the deceased by donning black armbands.

The news spread quickly throughout the world, and former Brazil player Ronaldo tweeted a moving message of sympathy: “Sad start to the day. Godspeed, Dr. Socrates. Zico described him as “unique,” while Italian Paolo Rossi bemoaned the loss of a piece of history that was vanishing.

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Sócrates’s Playing Style


As the center of the action, this mysterious player evolved into a midfield maestro who shone in both central and attacking roles. Sócrates, whose name is inscribed in the annals of grace and dexterity, possessed supernatural prowess on the field. His deft through passes painted elaborate tapestries, and his long ball accuracy resembled the brushstrokes of a painter. Only the raw strength that flowed through his veins was more captivating than the symphony of his link-up play. As well as the expansive vision he possessed. This musician was a dual-foot virtuoso who expertly used the use of both feet to create his play.

Sócrates was no stranger to falling into the trap despite his reputation for composing obscene symphonies. He had a secret weapon in his right foot—an accurate shot that frequently lit up the scoreboard. He would enter the action from behind, a predator in the vicinity, with grace and cunning. Despite his skill, his celebrations frequently lacked mystery, and his participation was a mystery that has never been fully explained.

Despite not having the fastest feet, he moved with a controlled acceleration and was an expert at controlling the tempo. However, his mind was his most effective tool, analyzing the game’s nuances with the dexterity of a surgeon’s scalpel. The show-stopping move was his signature “no-look” back-heel pass, which elicited murmurs of wonder and appreciation.

The early to mid-1980s were Brazil’s golden age, and Sócrates served as its fulcrum. Jonathan Wilson described him as the “cognitive core” of Brazil’s footballing mindset. Even while his brilliance didn’t dazzle like Zico’s did, it was still the pinnacle of intelligence. The wise coach Giancarlo De Sisti was able to detect Sócrates’ class and intelligence.

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Credit: Corinthians

His path from Botafogo-SP through Corinthians to Flamengo was littered with victories that deeply struck a chord with supporters. His influence on the Brazilian national team left an imprint on football history. Sócrates was admired for his leadership and creativity as much as his abilities as a player since he was a great artist and thinker.

The acclaim for Sócrates grew exponentially on a global scale. His selection to the FIFA 100 list of the finest active players in the world and his placement as World Soccer’s 61st finest Player of the 20th Century proved his enduring influence. His career went beyond honors, leaving a legacy that motivates future generations of football fans.

Sócrates’s Legacy


In March 2004, Pelé, a football icon in his own right, recognized Sócrates’ greatness by including him on the esteemed FIFA 100 list of the world’s finest active players. Sócrates’ status as one of football’s greatest players was cemented by this acknowledgment. In addition, World Soccer named him one of the top 100 footballers in history, which is a testament to his skill in the game.

Sócrates’ influence on the game went beyond honors and prizes. In October 2008, he was honored with a place in the Pacaembu Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame in recognition of his enormous impact on Brazilian football. This revered organization honored his efforts as a field artist. A leader in the locker room, and a representation of the sport’s illustrious history.

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Sócrates Honors


As he donned the Corinthians jersey, Sócrates orchestrated a symphony of victories, clinching the Campeonato Paulista crown in 1979, 1982, and 1983. His artistry on the field was not confined to a single club, as he later joined Flamengo and raised the Taça Rio and Campeonato Carioca trophies high in 1986.

On the international stage, Sócrates proudly represented Brazil. While the Copa América title eluded him, he secured the runner-up position in 1983 and a commendable third-place finish in 1979. Individually, his accolades were a testament to his brilliance. His inclusion in the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame celebrated his lasting impact, while the FIFA 100 list immortalized him among the world’s greatest players.

Ranked 61st in World Soccer’s Greatest Players of the 20th Century list, Sócrates stood tall as a beacon of footballing excellence. His name was etched in history as Campeonato Paulista’s top scorer in 1976 and a recipient of the coveted Bola de Prata award in 1980. The FIFA XI acknowledgment in 1982 cemented his status as a global football icon.

His supremacy extended beyond borders, earning him the title of South American Footballer of the Year in 1983. In 2007, Sócrates’ international influence was acknowledged with the FAI International Football Awards’ International Personality accolade. To complete his remarkable journey, he found his place in World Soccer’s World Team of the Year in 1982.

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Sócrates Outside Professional Life


Raimundo and Guiomar Vieira’s eldest child, Sócrates, was born in Belém, Para. When his father Raimundo accepted a big position as a revenue supervisor in 1960, the family moved to Ribeiro Preto, So Paulo. His father’s status increased due to his new job, particularly in their former community of Igarapé-Açu. The change allowed Sophrates to enroll in Colégio Marista, the best school in Ribeiro Preto.

A poignant story is revealed by gaining insight into Sócrates’ background. The family’s little collection, which contained priceless books on philosophy and literature, came under assault on March 31, 1964, during the turbulent coup d’état. The moment when little Sócrates saw his father toss prized books was a turning point. “I saw my father tear many books in 1964 because of the coup d’état,” he recounted. Given that he preferred the library over anything else, I found that to be ludicrous. I sensed something was off at that point. But I didn’t fully get it till I was in college. This early exposure forever changed his early years to the effects of censorship under the military government.

Both Sócrates’ professional and personal lives were active. Before his death, he was married four times and went through three divorces. He had six children and broadened his interests by writing columns for other magazines and exploring sports, politics, and economics.

Sócrates surpassed expectations in a field where honors are frequently unique. He accomplished this extraordinary feat while actively participating in professional football. This legend was a doctor with a degree from the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeiro Preto (the medical school of the University of So Paulo). He continued practicing medicine in Ribeiro Preto after retiring.

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Matthias David
Matthias David
If there is one thing that Matthias is passionate about its writing informative articles about football. Matthias is an architect. He creates complex bodies of information in the form of clear and concise article pieces. What a lovely paradox!


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