Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All the latest Transfer Gossip across Europe

With the January transfer window opening in a matter of days, let's take a look at the latest transfer rumours to be making the headlines, as clubs across Europe get a one last chance this season to shuffle their squads in a final push for success, whether it in the form of trophies, UEFA Champions League/Europa League qualification, or simply to maintain their status in their respective leagues.
As the clock ticks down here is the most recent transfer gossip to be doing the rounds!

Blackburn, Fulham, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester United, Manchester City, Lille, Olympiakos, Bolton, Chelsea, Everton, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls, Dijon, AC Milan, Liverpool, Racing Club de Avellaneda, Paris Saint Germain, QPR, Arsenal, FC Köln, Olympique Lyonnais, Fiorentina, Tottenham, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, Anzhi Makhachkala, Watford, Montpellier, Newcastle, Sochaux, Malaga, AS Roma, Leicester City, Doncaster Rovers, Derby County, Middlesbrough, Nottm Forest, West Ham, Valencia, Swindon Town, Huddersfield and Bournemouth..........are all caught up in transfer gossip as we speak.

Here is a round up:

Blackburn boss Steve Kean expects the green light to bid £2 million for unhappy Fulham striker Andy Johnson (right) today - and make him one of the first signings of the winter transfer window. QPR are also keen, but the 30-year-old is not a priority capture for them just now - Daily Mirror and The Guardian

Bayer Leverkusen are desperate to take Dimitar Berbatov back to the Bundesliga and have been in contact with the Manchester United striker - Daily Mail

Manchester City could fuel the rivalry with Manchester United by snapping up two of their best up-and-coming youngsters Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba.
Both Pogba and Morrison, both 18 years-old are out of contract at the end of season and City are best-placed if neither players agrees a new deal - Daily Express, Daily Mail and

Manchester City are also rumoured to be lining up a £25m swoop for Lille's Eden Hazard (right), who will be immediately loaned back to France for the remainder of this season - and The Guardian

Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill has agreed in principal to join Chelsea in January -

Bolton boss Owen Coyle will swoop for New York Red Bulls and USA defender Tim Ream as a replacement for Gary Cahill - Daily Star

Bolton hope toalso sign Josh McEachran on loan from Chelsea, after sending back the unwanted Gaël Kakuta, who's now heading for Dijon - The Guardian

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas insists Chelsea will not be trying to buy Everton's Jack Rodwell when the transfer window reopens.
The Blues were this week linked with a £20million bid for the midfielder, who made his senior England debut last month -

Chelsea are facing an unexpected battle to keep Oriol Romeu less than six months after signing him. Barcelona are said to want to bring the midfielder, who has broken into Andre Villas-Boas' first team, back to the Nou Camp as a replacement for Serie A-bound Seydou Keita in summer - Daily Mirror

Liverpool target Teo Gutierrez (right) has been made available by his club - but only if his £8m valuation is met. The Racing Club de Avellaneda (of Argentina) forward has been attracting the attention of a number of clubs across Europe and the impending eight game ban Luis Suarez is facing has heightened Liverpool's thoughts of adding another striker to their squad - talkSPORT

AC Milan have dismissed reports that Brazilian star Alexandre Pato has asked for a big-money move to Paris Saint Germain. The forward admitted yesterday that his relationship with Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is not ideal, and that has only increased speculation of a €50million (£42m) switch to France - and Daily Mirror

Manager Arsene Wenger is set to consider offers for Arsenal trio Marouane Chamakh, Andrey Arshavin and Sebastien Squillaci as he looks to make way for possible additions to his squad next month - Caught Offside

Andrey Arshavin appears to be closer than ever to leaving Arsenal with Chelsea among the clubs who could be keen on him - Metro

Arsenal will only make loan signings this January but are preparing a £30m summer spending spree on FC Köln striker Lukas Podolski, Fiorentina midfielder Juan Vargas (right) and Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff. Poldolski and Gourcuff would cost the Gunners a combined fee in the region of £15 million pounds, with Vargas' fee expected to be around £10 million -

Tottenham will consider a move for Blackburn defender Chris Samba when the transfer window opens next week, after missing out on Gary Cahill - Daily Mail

Roman Pavlyuchenko's agent claims the Tottenham Hotspur striker is prepared to join Anzhi Makhachkala unless he receives a better offer in January. The 30 year-old forward is unhappy with his lack of playing time and has been linked with a return to former club Spartak Moscow, along with rivals Lokomotiv Moscow and Queens Park Rangers - and

Blackburn are lining up a bid for £5m-rated Watford striker Marvin Sordell - Daily Star

Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin has ruled out selling striker Olivier Giroud (right) to Newcastle United after claiming the club are 'too small' for the striker. Giroud is reportedly a target for Newcastle in the January transfer window as Alan Pardew seeks to boost his attack after a move for Sochaux's Modibo Maiga collapsed. The French international has also been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Malaga -

Tottenham's 25 year-old defender Vedran Corluka looks set to join Italian giants AS Roma - Daily Star and The Sun

Olympiakos have been linked to a move for Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak - The Guardian

Middlesbrough are keen on landing Nottingham Forest striker Ishmael Miller. The 23-year-old only moved to the City Ground in the summer, when Forest paid West Bromwich Albion just over £1million -

Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock has ruled out a bid to sign former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb in January. Hleb has spent the first half of the season on loan at Wolfsburg from Barcelona, but the Bundesliga club will not be extending the arrangement -

Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson insists will not be 'held to ransom' in the January transfer window amid reports he has made a bid for Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp (right). Foxes boss Pearson is keen to improve his squad in the New Year and reports claim that Leicester have offered £3million for Sharp -

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is keen on bringing Valencia defender Ricardo Costa to East London -

Derby County manager Nigel Clough is hoping to release several members of his squad during the January transfer window. Midfielder Stephen Pearson, currently on loan at Championship rivals Bristol City, and goalkeeper Stephen Bywater could be among the first to leave the club in the New Year -

Swindon Town will give Leon Clarke to Huddersfield on a free after he fell out with manager Paolo di Canio, but have turned down Bournemouth's £500,000 bid for winger Matt Ritchie, whom they rate at £2m - and The Guardian

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What not to buy a man for Christmas!

Last week I posted an article on 'What not to buy a woman for Christmas!'

It provoked quite a reaction, so I have reversed the roles and written an article for women on what not to buy their man for Christmas.

So ladies, if you’re trying to figure out what to buy the guy in your life for Christmas, it might be good to check out this list of things identified as the absolute worst things you can buy for him. Some of these might be a little surprising but see for yourself. If you avoid the things on this list, you might end up buying him something he’ll actually enjoy. You might be taken aback by the mere fact that some of those unwanted Xmas gifts appear on both sexes lists!

Here’s what NOT to buy your guy for Christmas this no particular order!

1/ Hair Treatment.

Don't add insult to injury! If your man's hairline keeps recessing like the tide of a Norwegian Fjord then chances are good that he knows about it. He is probably not happy about this natural phenomenon either, but giving him 'Rogaine' even beautifully wrapped by your goodself this Christmas is definitely not the solution.

2/ One Month Gym Membership.

Yes, yes, yes he has put on a few pounds since you two got together, and then add into the equation all the traditional Christmas fayre and festive parties attended in December - and you can be sure he knows it!
Motivating him to get in shape with a one month gym membership is a bit passive aggressive and a huge turn off. Unless he is asking for the membership as a gift, don't do it.

3/ Back Hair Shaving Kit.

Yes, they do exist. It is basically a razor with a telescope extension designed for back hair removal. Even if he could use some back grooming, don't make this a stocking filler.

4/ Sports-related gifts.

It's okay if you follow the Gunners and he's a Spurs fan. But buying him a club shirt with Sol Campbell printed on the back is just downright unacceptable.

5/ A Puppy.

Giving a living thing as a present without notice is never a good idea.
Yes, puppies make cute gifts, but unless you're planning to feed and walk the little guy every day, it's best not to show up with a barking present. A puppy is something that needs to be talked about first, and picked out together.

6/ An 'Old-Fashioned' cologne/after-shave.

What man wants to smell like a 1980's throwback?
'Denim,' 'Brut,' 'Tabac,' 'Insignia' and 'Saxon' or any other 'out-dated' fragrances are a major no-no for almost all guys.
Girls, would you really want him wearing them anyway?

7/ Turtleneck top.

It's uncomfortable and out-of-style.
You might get away with it if he is planning a ski trip in the next month.

8/ Tickets to the ballet or a Justin Bieber concert (something that you want to see).

Making him sit through four hours of 'Swan Lake' or a Justin Bieber concert isn't cool. Yes, it's an activity to do together, but it's only fun for you. Ladies save this one for your girlfriends.

9/ A book that is meant to improve your relationship.

There's no better way to make your guy insecure and offend him than by giving him a self-help guide or a book that implies that he needs to improve his skills in the bedroom. What man wants to spend his Christmas thinking his woman isn't satisfied?

10/ Bath products.

What guy is seriously going to use bath salts and scented candles? That's why men buy the 3-in-1 shampoo/conditioner/body wash - so they can shower with as little effort as possible.

11/ Skinny jeans.

Many men think they're too tight. Plus, what guy wants to wear the same pants as his wife? Unless he's part of the hipster scene and wears them already.

12/ Underwear with unusual themes or supposedly witty sayings.

Men's underwear with 'funny' sayings or designs are super cheesy and a waste of money. To buy a product of any sort with phrases such as the following are truly naff:
"Food has replaced sex in my life, now I can't even get into my own pants" or "Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel it,"

13/ Grooming products.

Facial cleanser, deodorant and nail clippers give your man the message that you want him to change the way he looks, or equally could be interpreted as quite simply 'shape up or ship out'............ouch!

14/ Vacuum cleaner.

This is not a present any man would appreciate. Don't think that buying a Vacuum will change his bad habits of leaving his stuff everywhere. Buying him a vacuum for Christmas is the equivalent of him buying you a vacuum for Christmas.

15/ Socks.

You're probably thinking, "Everyone needs socks." We'll keep this simple: you're not his mother!

The clock is ticking and Christmas will be here before you know it. Now that you know a few of the things you should not purchase, how do you know what would be a great gift?

It is the season of giving, so why not start with the most extravagant choice? Ask any man what tops his wish list, and he will say that it's a state-of-the-art television with crisp picture and surround sound for his sports, movies and shows.

If he's not up-to-date on technology, then you need to get him the newest iPad tablet on which he can peruse the Web, e-mail, watch TV shows and movies and do just about everything else! For a personalized touch, engrave his name or initials on the back.

Ray-Ban Aviator glasses. Not just for pilots and policemen, these sunglasses are a classic staple, are flattering on just about anybody and can be worn all year round.

People all over the world were touched by the death of Steve Jobs, and this critically-acclaimed and best-selling book is an intense and fascinating look at the life of one of this greatest businessmen and pioneers of our time.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. If your guy owns a PlayStation then this is a must. Already one of the smash hits (literally) of the season, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the most recent installment in this extremely popular series of video games.

It may seem cliché, but a beautiful scarf remains a great gift, and a classic Burberry cashmere one just can't be beaten.

Sony MiniDV Video Camera. With a DV video camera like one from Sony, it's easy to import your home movies to a computer for editing and burning to DVD.

Finally, how about the Cyclone II Foosball Table. The Tornado series of foosball tables is widely considered to be the Cadillac of table soccer, and they're certainly built to last. The rods glide beautifully, and the unit as a whole is made to withstand even the toughest, most vigorous foosball play. It may be expensive, but he'll never outgrow it.

Good luck ladies!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What not to buy a woman for Christmas!

It’s that time of year again, when thoughts turn to Christmas and that annual dilemma of what to buy friends and family.

Buying Christmas presents for your partner however, can prove even more of a minefield, especially if you are the kind of man that finds gift buying an ordeal.

Be wary of the kind of Christmas present you choose for your beloved, as giving an inappropriate present could spell the end of a beautiful relationship!

Although giving gift certificates and money may be a good gift idea in some cases, it is also advisable to give some sort of other small item attached with it. You want your wife to feel that you put some thought into her gift. Don't give gift certificates to places like bowling alleys or a day driving a souped up car around a racing track (unless she is a car fanatic). The gift is supposed to be for her — not you!

Unless you know that your gift is going to be well received avoid buying anything that implies a flaw. This could include a self-help book, bathroom scales, a set of cookbooks, a style guide, exercise equipment or a Wii fit!

Chore-related or practical gifts may seem just the thing, but avoid gifts like vacuum cleaners, blenders, irons, brooms, toasters and saucepans etc, unless such an item has been specifically requested. Christmas is for the buying of personal gifts — ones that are thoughtful, meaningful, possibly intimate, sometimes fun and in some cases indulgent.

Do not give your partner any item that you charge to her credit card. She wants you to pay for her gift. Not only that, you don't want her to know that you got that beautiful gift at a bargain basement price. Make her believe that you were willing to pay top dollar and that no amount is too much for you to spend on her.

Let's face it – shopping for girls is not easy. There are tons of resources out there telling you what to buy and where to buy it. I thought I'd take a different approach and point out some gifts I'd suggest you steer well clear of this Christmas. Here’s what NOT to buy your wife or girlfriend for Christmas this year.........

1/ P-Mate.

What weirder way to let her know you care than to give her the ability to pee standing up. Yes, yes, yes, it's hilarious that this product exists, but it's for hiking, camping or for women with hip problems. So as funny as it may be when you place the order on a drunken night of online shopping, it probably won't be as much fun explaining this one on a sober Christmas morning.

2/ Facial Hair Remover.

These things, hilarious as they may be, are all the rage right now among women. They apparently do work for all sorts of things, but women don’t generally react well to guys suggesting they use them. You may think you’re being clever in getting her a useful tool to use in her never ending quest for beauty, but she’ll think you’re telling her she has a moustache and a unibrow.

3/ Gel inserts for her bra. equates to receiving a gift certificate from your partner for a penis enlargement. How festive! If 'she' wants a boob job then pay for her to have one, but not in some dodgy back-street underground surgery, by a half-baked surgeon, in a country better known for brewing lager than performing breast augmentation.

4/ Acne or Wrinkle Creams.

We see women spend ridiculous amounts of money and time on facial creams, exfoliants, complexion repair treatments, 'age-defying' lotions and all the other things they gobble up on a regular basis. Some of us might get the bright idea to get a girl some of this stuff for Christmas, thinking it’s normal and apparently appreciated. We’d be wrong. Getting a girl anything but scented lotions is like saying she needs some work done, and she’s not likely to appreciate that very much.

5/ Playboy Playmate of the Month Necklace.

She likes jewellery and she likes things that are personal, like her birthstone and you of course love Playmates, so a 'Playmate of the Month Necklace' with her birthday month is the perfect gift right? Okay, let’s start over. Do you want her to find your stash of magazines and then bin them? No? Okay, then don’t buy this for her.

6/ Promise Rings.

Yes it’s pretty and sweet and she'll totally love it, but if you’re not planning to give her an engagement ring by Valentine’s day or at least by next Christmas you will have one bitter, disappointed woman on your hands. Women will tell you that Promise Rings are just a promise to love her forever, but the truth is you’re basically saying: "I promise to get engaged soon, I’m just saving up for the the £5000 version, so for now, enjoy this."
If you want to do the jewellery thing, just stick to an elegant necklace and/or some earrings, but definitely do not give your partner pieces of jewellery that belonged to ex-wives or past girlfriends.

7/ Ceiling Mirror.

A bedroom ceiling mirror may seem like an awesome idea at first, but do you really want her to get a good view of your hairy back or black moles? Plus don’t actively encourage her to call you a pervert. The bonus? She might actually love this if she’s into decorating, but if you’re banking on it going up over the bed, you might be disappointed when you come home and see it above the dresser.

8/ Nono Razor.

Whether or not she enjoys personal grooming, she probably doesn’t want to hear from you that she should shave her 'nono'. We understand that this was a thoughtful gift because of its Thermacon technology that gently transmits heat to the hair and can be used frequently to eliminate rashes and ingrowing hairs. It's just.......well, it’s just wrong to buy one of those things for your partner.

9/ Bikini Wax Kit.

This says "I don’t like the way your whole crotch looks, and I’d like you to change that for me." Not exactly the romantic message you want to send to a girl at Christmas, is it? A gift certificate to an expensive, full service salon/spa that also offers bikini wax services is a better bet. You never know, while she’s there, she may decide on her own to go ahead and trim the grounds.

10/ Nose Hair Trimmer.

As odd as this sounds, it’s happened more times than should ever be counted. Usually as part of a bigger package, lazy guys make the mistake of not accounting for the unisex nature of travel kits. It’s bad enough that you’re handing your girlfriend a totally insincere, last minute 'gift,' but having a nose hair trimmer as part of the deal is like a slap to the face — something you should probably expect if you try this one.

11/ Tickle His Pickle.

How-To sex books are probably not very kosher as far as Chanukah gifts go. Seriously save this for a less spiritual holiday, even Valentine’s Day is a little risky.......besides it’ll probably backfire when she lets you know who REALLY needs tips. Ouch!

12/ A Divorce.

Yes, I have heard of this happening and I think it is both a cruel and psychopathic way to behave at Christmas. If you are going to end the marriage, don't ruin Christmas and scar her for the rest of her life by handing her a set of divorce papers. Get it over with at least a month before or after Christmas. At least then she can buy her own Christmas present.

The clock is ticking and Christmas will be here before you know it. Now that you know a few of the things you should not purchase, how do you know what would be a great gift?

Be a good understudy to your partner. Listen carefully to what she says. Pay attention to the things she enjoys and the way she spends her time. Does she enjoy weekend breaks, being pampered, reading a good book, going to the movies, eating out or crazy outdoor activities?

You might even try asking her to give you a list of things she would like for Christmas. (Note: wives/girlfriends/partners, if your other half asks you to make a list of things you would like for Christmas, please do it. Don’t respond with, "If you don’t know what to buy me for Christmas, I am certainly not going to tell you.")

Men, with a little investigative work you can uncover some helpful hints that will guide you in your gift buying.

If all else fails and you are still at a loss it isn’t against the rules to ask her to accompany you on a shopping spree, to find the perfect gift.

Good luck guys!

Friday, December 09, 2011

All The Latest Transfer Gossip

After a busy week in Europe, as the final Champions League group games were completed, and with the traditionally busy Christmas fixture list on the horizon, clubs across Europe are hard at work as they plan ahead for the second-half of the season.

Players will come and go in January, as clubs wheel and deal in the transfer window. There are numerous reasons why clubs and players move in the New Year. Some clubs may be be strapped for cash, others may be struggling in their respective leagues while others may boast an array of injured players and feel the need to freshen up their squads. Players themselves on the other hand may find they are surplus to requirements, maybe they are not playing on a regular basis for their clubs or have fallen out with their boss. They may also be out of contract in the summer and need to find a new club, or perhaps they are quite simply looking for more money!

AC Milan, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea, Ajax, LA Galaxy, Valencia, Tottenham, Arsenal, Juventus, West Ham, Blackburn, Spartak Moscow, Aston Villa, Schalke, Olympique Marseille, Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Wolfsburg, Lazio, QPR, Birmingham City, Stoke, Newcastle and West Brom, Wigan, Napoli, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Cardiff, Burnley and Sheffield United are all caught up in transfer gossip as we speak.

Here is a round up:

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani remains hopeful the club can agree a loan deal for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez despite reported interest from Paris St Germain - and

Chelsea and Manchester City are thought to be monitoring Ajax full-back Gregory van der Wiel (right), who says he will not sign a new contract at the club. The 23-year-old is also wanted by Valencia - The Sun and The Guardian

boss Andre Villas-Boas has dismissed reports linking midfielder Frank Lampard with a move to LA Galaxy. Lampard appears to have fallen out of favour with Villas-Boas in recent weeks, fuelling suggestions the 33-year-old may be on his way out of Stamford Brigde and perhaps heading across the pond to ply his trade in Major League Soccer -

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed his interest in signing wantaway Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka. owever, Allardyce, who worked with Anelka at Bolton, admits he is keeping tabs on the striker's situation, although he concedes he would only move for the 32-year-old on a free transfer in the summer rather than next month - The Sun and

Spurs, Arsenal and Juventus are all reportedly interested in Chelsea's out-of-favour defender Alex - Daily Star and

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Steven Nzonzi is wanted by Spartak Moscow, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa also thought to be interested in the £7m-rated Frenchman - The Sun and The Guardian

Bundesliga side Schalke are keen to hijack Arsenal's interest in FC Köln's Germany international striker Lukas Podolski, 26. Schalke want to sign Podolski as a replacement for former Real Madrid man Raul, 34, who is contracted to the club until next summer - talkSPORT

Croatian international Ivica Olic (right) looks set to leave Bayern Munich in January. The 32 year-old Bayern forward is being tracked by Villarreal, Wolfsburg, Juventus and Lazio - and

Already tracked by several European top clubs and ready to leave Olympique Marseille, Ghanaian international André Ayew is now a primary target for Chelsea. The London club are thought to be ready to offer in the region of £10 million for the 21 year-old winger in January -

QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin is believed to be attracting interest from Napoli and two other Premier League clubs - Daily Mail

Meanwhile, Neil Warnock's side have joined Stoke, Newcastle and West Brom in the chase for Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell - Daily Mirror

Arsenal and Tottenham will be the clubs battling for signing Belgian international centre-back Jan Vertonghen from Ajax in January. The 24 year-old is currently on a deal with Dutch club until June 2013, and might decide to wait until the end of the season to leave - Metro and

Premier League sides West Brom and Wigan are both lining up moves for Nottingham Forest defender Luke Chambers, who is out of contract at the City Ground in the summer - Daily Mail

Stoke City are planning to offer £3m for Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right), and are looking at Blackburn Rovers winger Junior Hoilett as well. Enoch Balotelli, the 19-year-old brother of Manchester City's understated forward, might join the pair at the Britannia. Balotelli has been training with the Potters for a few weeks - The Guardian, The Metro and

Aston Villa are holding talks with goalkeeper Brad Guzan over a new contract. The 27-year-old United States international is set to step into the breach tomorrow at Bolton, following an injury to Shay Given. His contract expires next summer and boss Alex McLeish is confident he can come in and make an immediate impact -

Championship duo Cardiff and Burnley are chasing Sheffield United's Matt Lowton. The 22 year-old who can play at the back or in midfield has been an ever-present in the United side this season -

Monday, December 05, 2011

Sócrates - Brazilian and World Football Legend

Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, born 19th February 1933 in Belém do Pará, Brazil died on Sunday, aged 57.

Sócrates had been admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo with food poisoning, and was on a life-support machine with septic shock when he passed away in the early hours of the 4th December 2011. He leaves a wife and six sons.

It was the third time in four months he had been treated at an intensive care unit since alcohol abuse caused gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to portal hypertension (causing his stomach to hemorrhage). By far the most common cause of this is cirrhosis of the liver, and Sócrates was known to be both a heavy drinker and a chain smoker.

However less than a fortnight ago he insisted he was not dependent on drink.
He told SporTV: "I never had many problems with alcohol because I was not addicted. All the time I interacted with alcohol as if it were a partner, but I never had withdrawal symptoms. I spent long periods without use. I do not feel like drinking. It is five months since I put a drop of alcohol in my mouth. I do not miss it. Obviously you have to change some of your behaviour and avoid risky situations, so to speak. In my case, it is easy. I have no addiction. For those with addiction it is much more complicated."

He began playing football professionally in 1974 for Botafogo in Ribeirão Preto, but spent the majority of his career from 1978 to 1984 with Corinthians in São Paulo.

He also played for Italian club Fiorentina and the Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Santos towards the end of his career,

An astute passer and reader of the game, Sócrates had a uniquely nonchalant playing style, using the backheel to telling effect and scoring memorable goals with both feet.

Sócrates was capped 60 times for Brazil between May 1979 and June 1986, scoring 22 goals. He played for, and captained, Brazil in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. In Spain the world fell in love with Brazil's incredible football, with their precise, brilliant passing under the command of the maestro Tele Santana.
Socrates was part of a golden Brazilian generation of players who included Zico, Falcao, Júnior, Oscar, Cerezo and Eder.

Brazil lost 3-2 to Italy in the quarter-final in what is often described as one of the all-time classic World cup matches. Brazilian fans and journalists recognized that this team was indeed excellent. What happened to Brazil in 1982 was similar to what had happened to Holland in 1974 and Hungary in 1954 - the best team in the competition failed to win the tournament.

Sócrates also appeared in the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico, where Brazil lost to France in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out. it was the last time he would wear the famous yellow shirt.

He was nicknamed 'O Doutor' - The Doctor - as he graduated as medical student during the early years of his football career.

Former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who trained Sócrates with the national team in 1983-84, told Reuters: "He was the most intellectual of the players I worked with, intelligent, objective and he had opinions that were his own and firm about anything and mainly politics. He was a genius on the field. He marked a generation with the technical quality and intelligence of his football.....He was one of the great icons of that (1982) team that marveled the world."

He retired from professional football in 1989, at the age of 35.

In 2004, Socrates made a memorable cameo for English amateur side Garforth Town for 12 minutes in front of a club-record 1,000 people at Wheatley Park against Tadcaster Albion, in a 2-2 draw.

Pelé named him as one of the Top 125 Living Footballers in March 2004, and World Soccer named him one of 100 best footballers in history. In October 2008, Sócrates was inducted into the Pacaembu Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame.

After retiring as a player he practised medicine at Ribeirão Preto, and also worked as a media pundit.

Just when he was fighting to stay away from the drink, those many years of alcohol abuse finally proved to be his nemesis. The complications from years of drinking have cut his journey short, the journey of one of the most outstanding, iconic footballers in our history.

Career history:

1974: Makes professional debut for Botafogo Futebol Clube in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo.
1978: Joins Corinthians, going on to play almost 300 games for the club.
1979: Makes Brazil debut, going on to win 60 caps and score 22 goals.
1982: Captains Brazil in the 1982 World Cup, but they fail to make it past the second group stage.
1983: South American Footballer of the Year.
1984: Joins Italian side Fiorentina.
1986: Returns to Brazil to play for Clube de Regatas do Flamengo in Zona Sul, Rio de Janeiro.
1986: Plays for Brazil in the World Cup, but they lose in the quarter-finals to France on penalties.
1986: Retires from international football.
1988: Joins Santos Futebol Clube in Santos, São Paulo.
1989: Returns to Botafogo Futebol Clube.
1989: Retires from professional football.
2004: More than a decade after retiring from action, he agrees to a one-month player-coaching deal with English Northern Counties East side Garforth Town.
2008: Inducted into the Pacembu Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame.

Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, Rest in Peace.