Rare Footage of Socrates playing for Fiorentina

When Socrates left Brazil for Fiorentina in the summer of 1984, this was not purely a footballing decision. As was often the case, “Magrão,” had other motivating factors at play.

His move to Italy was the eventual result of a promise he made to the people of Brazil. Socrates was not only a captain on the field but a leader in the fight to end the military dictatorship that plagued Brazilian politics at the time. To this end, he declared publicly that if Brazil did not oversee democratic elections in 1984 that he would reluctantly leave for Europe.

Unfortunately for Brazil, and indeed Socrates, the wish of millions across the country was not met and Socrates endured a year away from Brazil. He described an acute homesickness that struck him shortly after arriving in Italy. His lifestyle of partying and drinking was not in step with Italian football and he felt out of place.

Never the less, as he did everywhere he played, he was still able to produced moments of characteristic style and grace. His public image of elegance and intellect also endeared him to the locals and his colleagues. The coach of Fiorentina at Socrates’ time there would remark, “Socrates was a very intelligent man, he had great class.”

There is a sparse amount of footage of his time in Italy but thankfully the kind people at Football History produced a compilation video of his time in Tuscany. Though relatively brief at just over 2 minutes, the video provides some of the fantastic goals and skills he produced for Fiorentina.


Gallery of Socrates at Fiorentina

Socrates commemorated by showing of film in Italy

Brazil 1982 World Cup Squad Featured in Football Greatest International Team Series

Has there ever been a more mystical and majestic international team to grace the world cup than the Brazil 1982 Squad captained by Socrates?

This video, an episode in a series  following the best international teams ever, investigates this question.  From the makers of the well-produced and hugely popular “Football’s Greatest” the episode features video footage and exclusive interviews to give audiences a glimpse of the team that forever etched their names in history.

Though not world cup winners few teams have enjoyed the same degree of adoration as this squad. Still fondly remembered everywhere in the world they embodied football-arte or the “beautiful game.”

Still, there are some who view their pre-occupation with style, flair and artistry to have been their own undoing. Especially in the face of on-field pragmatism, exemplified by the team that knocked them out, Italy.

Spectacular or Naive? The debate will rage on forever but even then it will likely not outlive the legacy of joy that this team left behind.


Portrait of an icon: Socrates (F365 Article)


“My political victories are more important than my victories as a professional player,” Sócrates once said. “A match finishes in 90 minutes, but life goes on.” Like each match, life is finite, but there is no limitation on how long a reputation can last.

Above is an except from an excellent article written by Daniel Storey featured on Football365.com. Read the full article here

Local Football Field named “Socrates Brasileiro”


The football field of the Florestan Fernandes National School will be name after Socrates / Source: http://socratesbrasileiro.blogspot.com/

On the 14th of September a special match was held between a team captained by Brazilian musical legend Chico Buarque and and a team featuring members of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST).  The MST is an organized group that describe themselves as “a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.”

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Socrates remembered in Sculptures


Bust in honor of Socrates Brasiliero / Source: meutimao.com.br

As a player, Socrates was a proponent of the beautiful game, often being playing in a creative style of football. Indeed the famous Brazil 1982 team he captained is regarded by many spectators as the embodiment of the imaginative style of football known as “Futbol Arte.”In the spirit of his artistic style, Socrates was commemorated with a bust sculpted by Nadja Venezian in the Parque São Jorge.

The bust features an image of Socrates from his time at Corinthians in a football Jersey. In all Bronze, the sculpture features Socrates in his characteristic pose with his right hand in a fist and elevated above his head. This pose is particularly significant as it was his signature goal celebration and also symbolic of his political leanings towards democracy for his country, Brazil.

The unveiling of the bust was done on September 4th of last year to mark 3 years since he passed. The event was attended by fans of Corinthians and friends and family of Socrates. The unveiling was performed by club presizdent  Mario Gobbi and the widow of Socrates, Katia Bagnarelli. The latter could hardly contain herself during the ceremony and at one point broke into tears.


Katia Bagnarelli – Socrates’ Widow – Crying during the unveiling of his bust / Source: uol.com.br

She was not the only one to get emotional with verbal tributes pouring out throughout the event. Some fans even took to placing their hands over the fist in the bust to represent solidarity with the spirit of Socrates.

Fast-forward to 2015 and there has recently been an announcement of a life-sized sculpture of the the Corinthian great to be erected once again in the home of his beloved Corinthians. This statute will be crafted by the hands of Laércio Alves and will be unveiled this October. It will feature alongside statues of four other huge figures of Corinthian’s history.



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Socrates commemorated by showing of film in Italy


Film Poster for “Socrates Uno di Noi” / Source: Comune Di Orbetello

On the 16th of August, local organizers in the Italian town Talamone paid tribute to Socrates by putting together an event in his memory. Centered around the film “Socrates di Uno” which translates to “Socrates, One of Us” the event was a unique reminder of Socrates’ brief spell in Italy.

Socrates is fondly remembered in Italy though his association with the country was not always an enjoyable one for him. His first contact with Italy occurred in 1982.The Venue was the Estadi de Sarrià, Barcelona, Spain. It was the final match of the second round of the group Stage of the World Cup. Having won all their matches prior, Brazil only needed a draw to go through to the semi-finals. It was not meant to be. Despite a strong performance form the Selecao, which included a goal from Socrates, Brazil were defeated 3-2.  It was a day that Socrates would later go on to describe as the worst in his life.

Not too long after though he was playing in Florence, Italy. It was there, despite a relatively unsuccessful spell, that he really endeared himself to Italians. Upon his death in 2011, Fiorentina observed a moment of silence in his memory. Since then the interest in him within italy has been rekindled, resulting in various television specials, Newspaper articles and even a film in the form of “Socrates di Uno Noi.”


Socrates playing for Fiorentina / Source: forzaitalianfootball.com

Written by Marco Mathieu and directed by Mimmo Calopresti the film was described as a story of the life and times of a symbol and not simply a movie about football. The documentary premiered at the Nuovo Cinema in 2014 and received good reviews.

The event itself not only featured the film but was also graced by the presence of Italian football legend Giovanni Trapattoni, who managed Fiorentina for a brief spell between 1998 and 2000. Alongside him was the well-respected Milan doctor John Monti. The two shared their opinions on the film and Socrates as well. Monti highlighted what he described as an abnormal physique, while Trapattoni emphasized the intelligence of the player.


Giovanni Trapattoni and Milan doctor John Monti discuss Socrates / Source: http://iltirreno.gelocal.it/

Below is a video showcasing one of his best moments with Fiorentina and his goals against Italy in the 1982 World Cup:





Socrates’ return to Brazil with Flamengo


Socrates on the cover of Placar to celebrate his arrival at Flamengo / Source: footballgeeza.com

in 1984 Socrates left Brazil for Italy as a political gesture against the military junta that ruled Brazil at the time and even stated, “I’ll give my goals to a better country.” However, after one year in Italy Socrates “came running back.” However, it was not to his beloved Corinthians.

In 1985 both Socrates and his close friend and fellow Brazil 82′ compatriot Zico joined Flamengo in one of the most exciting transfer periods for the club. The idea that two stars from that magical midfield that mesmerized the world 3 years earlier in Spain was tantalizing for fans and journalists.


Socrates & Zico playing for Flamengo / Source: tardesdepacaembu.wordpress.com

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Socrates Day – December 4th


Socrates Day

Social Football lab 2020 is a group dedicated to using football for positive social change throughout Europe. They pose the question, “Can football save the world?’ Regardless of what you feel the answer to that question is, there is no doubt that football already has had huge social and cultural effect across the world and of course Europe.

Corinthian Democracy, a movement lead by Socrates and the staff of Corinthian Football Club, is a perfect example of how football can have a significant effect on the social and even political life on the public.

On their website they outline their vision:

We as the initiators of Social Football Lab 2020 want to harbor the positive power of football; Stimulate the possibility of its ability to change behavior

With all this in mind it seems quite fitting that they would embark on a project to make December 4th (the date that Socrates passed) celebrated as “Socrates Day.

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Gallery: Socrates at Fiorentina

Socrates left Brazil for Italy as a form of political protest. His arrival was met with great excitement but his time there never really lived up to expectations. The club itself under-performed slumping to 9th, 6 positions below the impressive 3rd finish of the previous season.

Socrates himself seemed homesick. He did not enjoy the regimented nature of Italian football and training. He still had a yearning for partying, drinking and smoking and famously said, “there’s more to life than football.” He went back to Brazil at the end of his first season, scoring 9 goals in 29 appearances.

Below is a picture gallery of his time at Fiorentina:

Tributes made to Socrates at Corinthian Casuals Friendly

Corinthians Casuals Friendly

Corinthians Casuals Friendly / Source: flickr.com

Earlier this year the amateur team Corinthians Casuals played their Brazilian counterparts in a special friendly in Brazil. Corinthian Casuals can boost to be the most well supported amateur team in the world and once even had the great Doctor play for them during a friend between the casuals and the Corinthians team of Brazil.

Corinthians Casuals vs Corinthians

Corinthians Casuals vs Corinthians / Source: yourlocalguardian.co.uk

The memory of Socrates still loomed large. The players came out donning headbands in memory of Corinthian Democracy and the casuals were even awarded a trophy named after Socrates.


The Team wearing Headbands in Memory of Socrates / Source: yourlocalguardian.co.uk

The widow of the Brazilian had a touching message for both teams on the day that read:

I hope all the players and officials feel that we are giving you a big hug, and that through this hug you feel the presence of Socrates in your hearts, and the feet and minds of the players on the field

Certainly it would appear that the presence of Socrates was still very much on display.