Carlos Alberto: Brazil legend dies aged 72

first_imgBrazil legend Carlos Alberto, the captain of the 1970 World Cup-winning side, has died aged 72.He scored one of the greatest goals in World Cup history in the 1970 final against Italy, rounding off a sublime team move with a powerful low finish.Right-back Alberto was capped 53 times by Brazil and won domestic titles with Fluminense and Santos, for whom he made more than 400 appearances.He died in Rio de Janeiro following a heart attack.Alberto was named in the world team of the 20th Century in 1998 and the Fifa 100 for the greatest living players in 2004.He told the BBC that leading a team containing legends Pele, Jairzinho, Tostao and Rivelino to the World Cup was “the best moment of my career”. After finishing his playing career in North America with New York Cosmos, Alberto managed 15 clubs and Oman and Azerbaijan.He won the 1983 Brazilian Championship with Flamengo and finished his coaching career with Azerbaijan in 2005.Analysis – ‘As a coach or pundit, Alberto held no prisoners’BBC Brasil’s Fernando DuarteCarlos Alberto had a huge influence in Brazilian football not only for being one of the best right-backs to ever don the Brazil shirt, but also for being one of the most uncompromising voices of the game in his native country. As a leader, his qualities were unquestionable, wearing the captain’s armband in the legendary Brazil squad that won the Jules Rimet trophy in Mexico 46 years ago, exerting command over the likes of strong-minded players such as Pele, Gerson and Rivelino.Alberto was a product of Brazil’s famous marauding full-back lineage, but the difference was that he united fitness with the art.Brazilians learned the hard way in the 1966 World Cup that style was not enough when they were easily outmuscled by European opponents and went out at the group stage.’The Captain’, as he was nicknamed by Brazilians, did not have the same success as a manager, but fans of Flamengo, the most-supported team in the country, have fond memories of his role in winning the 1983 national title.As a coach or TV pundit, Alberto held no prisoners thanks to a fiery temper and a sharp sense of humour. In his trademark raspy voice, he would lambast directors, players and express certain despair with what he considered a fall in standards in Brazilian football. I met Alberto several times and never left without some tasty quotes. The last time I saw him was month ago in Rio, the day after a round of the South American World Cup qualifiers, in the green room of a Brazilian TV station.The national team had won a crucial away game against Ecuador and a huge sense of relief was in the air after a stumbling start in the tournament. But ‘The Captain’ was having none of it.”I remember when beating those guys was not a reason to celebrate but an obligation,” he said, just before letting his thunderous laugh rip.last_img

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