Smartest world class footballer

Updated 4 December 2011

Socrates has died of an illness. He was 57.

His most memorable goal is probably the following thunderbolt, which was the equaliser during the match against the USSR in the 1982 World Cup:

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9 June 2010

Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, simply Socrates to the world (born 1954) of Brazil was one of the best midfielders in the history of football and probably the most rugged footballer of the Cold War era. He captained Brazil in the 1982 World Cup, still considered one of the best sides in history, and surely the best Brazilian side never to win the World Cup.

In March 2004, Pele named him one of the Top 125 Living Footballers. World Soccer has included him in its list of the 100 best footballers in history.

Nothing out of ordinary right? Other footballers have achieved even greater stuff on the field.

But consider this: while still playing professionally for Botafogo at club level in the 1970s, where he made 57 appearances and scored 24 goals, he studied at, and graduated with a medical degree from the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirao Preto.

That means he was already a medical doctor while playing in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

He then went on to earn (not honorary) a PhD in philosophy.

On top of all that, he was also a heavy drinker and smoker. Yes, while still a player at the highest level. Apparently, he’s still doing both now.

How the heck did he manage to do all that, one would ask? Did his mother gobble up prodigious amounts of prenatal vitamins?!

He now practises sports medicine in his home town of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.