He captained Brazil’s supremely talented 1982 World Cup squad, which starred, among others, Zico, Cerezo and Falcao.
Socrates, though, also loved to party, drink and smoke. A lot.
Two years after the ’82 World Cup he was off to Italy’s Serie A, he had the pick of clubs and was able to turn down lucrative deals with Juventus and Roma - reportedly worth £1m - because club bosses wanted to insert a clause in the contract forbidding him to have sex three days before a match.
No chance, signore, and instead he opted for Fiorentina who pretty much told him he could shag whenever he wanted (it probably sounds much nicer in Italian, to be fair.)
It was a sign of things to come.
In years gone by, many British players used to a more relaxed approach to dieting, have found the training regimes and strict club rules in Italy hard to follow - Jimmy Greaves at Milan being a perfect example.
Socrates' hard drinking, 20-a-day lifestyle was never going to last over there.
“Sometimes I didn't want to train, but to hang out with friends, party or have a smoke. There's more to life than football,” he said of his time in Florence.
He was back in Brazil after a season before retiring in 1989.
Socrates was an extraordinary man, who pursued a career in medicine alongside his footy career and later qualified as a doctor.
Pre-Fiorentina, however, he was also a key figure in a movement at Cortinthians which became known as Corinthians Democracy.
This was at a time when Brazil was ruled by military dictatorship and players, coaching staff and other employees were on dangerous ground when they decided to vote on all kinds of matters, which were of interest to them as a collective.
He died in 2011, aged 57.
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