Carlos Alberto, captain of the great Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup, died on Tuesday of a heart attack in Rio at the age of 72, Brazil’s Sportv, for whom he worked, announced.
Carlos Alberto starred alongside Pele, Tostao, Jairzinho and Rivelino in the Brazil team that beat Italy 4-1 in the final in Mexico and is considered as one of the greatest sides of all time.
A right-back, he scored the last, brilliant, goal in the final, running onto a Pele pass and smashing in a thunderous shot with his right foot.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1944, “Capita” as he is known in Brazil, also played alongside Pele at Santos from 1966 to 1974 and at the New York Cosmos from 1977 to 1980 after beginning his career with Fluminense.
“Santos mourn the death of idol Carlos Alberto Torres,” said Santos in a statement, describing him as the club’s greatest ever right-back and decreeing three days of mourning.
“Thanks for everything”, the club added on Twitter along with a picture of him in their black and white colours.
The Cosmos tweeted: “We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Carlos Alberto, a legendary player and wonderful person. He’ll always remain part of the Cosmos family.”
He won more than 50 caps for his country — missing the ill-fated 1974 World Cup trophy defence due to injury — and was later named by FIFA in a list of the 100 greatest living players in 2004.
“He was my brother. More than a friend,” said Clodoaldo, a midfielder in the Brazil 1970 side who also starred for Santos.
“We spoke to each other all the time. When I heard the news, I was paralysed. He was a star and the best captain we ever had.”
Carlos Alberto hung up his boots in 1982 and started his coaching career with Rio giants Flamengo, winning a Brazilian title before working in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Oman and Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijan position was to be his last in coaching after he was sacked in 2005. He then became a television pundit, appearing in Sportv’s coverage of last weekend’s Brazilian league action.