Professional Soccer Player, Activist. Born Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira Sócrates in Belém do Pará, he was a revered Brazilian footballer and co-founder of Brazil's pro-democracy movement advocating rights for players. In the 1970s, he began as a promising soccer player in Ribeirão Preto, where he studied medicine while playing for provincial teams before attaining a medical degree at age 24. After school, he moved to Corinthians, started playing for the São Paulo Club and organized a movement advocating greater rights for Corinthians players. He spoke at public rallies and street protests which helped usher in a transition to end authoritarian military democracy rule. On the field, Sócrates was known as a leader and strategist who could elegantly employ his signature move, a back-heel pass. He played in two World Cups, won 60 caps for his country between 1979 and 1986 and scored 22 goals. As captain of his Brazilian team at two World Cups, he is considered one of the greatest players never to have won football's ultimate prize, losing to Italy in 1982 and France in 1986. He also appeared on television interviews, wrote newspaper columns on subjects as varied as soccer, politics, economics and wrote fiction plays for acting on the stage. He died from an intestinal infection at age 57.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith