Brazil Football Legend Carlos Alberto Passes Away At 72 From A Heart Attack

Brazilian football legend, World Cup winner and Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame inductee, Carlos Alberto, died Tuesday, of an apparent heart attack. He was 72.

Known for being one of the greatest defenders in the history of Brazilian football, Alberto captained the national team at the 1970 World Cup – a campaign which saw them win their third World Cup since lifting the trophy in 1958. As a right-back Alberto won 53 caps for the national team and boasts domestic titles with Fluminense and Santos – two of Brazil’s most prominent football clubs – for whom he made 400 appearances over an 11-year period.

He captained Pele, Jairzinho, Tostao, Rivelino and other greats during the 1970 World Cup campaign. The team that ultimately went on to claim the trophy is regarded as one of the finest teams to ever grace the football pitch. He was named in the World Team of the 20th Century in 1998 and was named as one of 100 greatest living players in 2004.

He went on to have a mildly successful career in management, winning the 1983 Brazilian Championship with Flamengo. He retired after parting ways with the Azerbaijan team in 2005. Alberto was an influential figure in Brazilian football, both for his performances for the Brazil National Football Team, and as a voice for football outside the football pitch.

He was a leader and a true great, a person that played a part in shaping football into what it is today. Whether as a player, manager, or a TV pundit, Alberto never truly left football, and football never truly left him. He will mostly be remembered for scoring a crucial goal in the 1970 World Cup, a goal which many regard as one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time.

He was named one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Brazil, alongside Ronaldo, Bebeto, Mário Zagallo, Amarildo and Marta. He was a vocal critic of a team that seemed to have lost its way. “I remember when beating those guys was not a reason to celebrate but an obligation,” he famously said.

He will be missed.