Legendary Brazilian footballer Carlos Alberto has passed away following a heart attack near his home in Rio. He was 72 years old.
Alberto has been hailed as one of the best fullbacks to ever play the game. He was named to Pelé’s FIFA 100 list of the greatest living players in 2004 and was also named to the World Team of the 20th Century. He had a long and successful playing career that spanned more than 700 appearances in Brazil (notably for Fluminense and Santos, where he was teammates with Pelé) and the United States, where he was part of the legendary New York Cosmos squad of the late 1970s.
But Carlos Alberto will be most fondly remembered for his international career. He was captain of the Brazil squad that won the 1970 World Cup. His goal in the Final, the fourth in his side’s thrilling 4-1 win over Italy, is widely considered one of the best World Cup goals in history.
After he hung up his boots, Carlos Alberto went into management, taking the helm for a whopping 17 club and international sides between 1983 and 2005. His last coaching gig was a brief spell with the Azerbaijan national team. He most recently worked as an analyst for Brazilian broadcaster SporTV, and was working in the studio just two days ago.
Peter Siemsen, president of Carlos Alberto’s boyhood club Fluminense, released a statement mourning the loss of their favorite son.
”Very sad about the loss of our great captain Carlos Alberto Torres – one of the best in the history of world football. Formed in the Fluminense youth teams, the captain had tricolor blood. He took part in one of the great moments in the history of the club.”
Other clubs made public shows of mourning for one of the greatest defenders to ever line up.
Santos’ parting message was simple: “Thanks for everything.”