DESCRIBED by none other than Pele as a brother, Carlos Alberto, captain of Brazil’s brilliant World Cup-winning team of 1970, is being remembered by millions of football fans.
Known as Brazil’s ‘Eternal Captain,’ Alberto died on Tuesday October 25 aged 72, leaving behind a legacy almost as powerful as his prodigious teammate.
A 25-year-old attacking fullback who was surprisingly dropped from the 1966 tournament, Alberto scored the defining goal of the 1970 World Cup, one which symbolised not only Brazil’s spellbinding play but the national character itself.
It was the ultimate goal in their 4-1 thrashing of Italy in the final played in Mexico City in front of 107,000 people, and the culmination of a flowing move that had television audiences around the world weeping with joy.
“Nobody talks about Pele’s goal, the first goal, the second goal. It’s always about the fourth goal. I think it was the best goal ever scored in a World Cup. Anybody can score a goal, but in that move nine different players touched the ball before the goal. I was lucky though, because I scored it,” said Alberto.
Born in Rio in July 1944 Alberto came through the ranks at Fluminense before joining Pele at Santos where he made 445 appearances, scoring 40 goals. He later moved back to Fluminense and on to Flamengo, before finishing his career in the United States.
A fairly wild coaching career saw him manage teams as diverse as the Miami Sharks and Azerbaijan before he went onto a successful spell as a football commentator. With 53 caps for Brazil Alberto is widely recognised as one of the greatest defenders in history and was a member of the World Team of the 20th century.
The scorer of the tournament’s finest ever goal, captain of its greatest ever team, and the trendsetter for holding aloft and kissing the Jules Rimet trophy, Carlos Alberto was undoubtedly a legend who will be sorely missed.