Andrew Downie’s new book Doctor Socrates tells the story of one of the most interesting players in soccer history. Socrates trained as a physician but chose to become a professional footballer, and he was captain of the wonderful Brazil side that was expected to win the 1982 World Cup but fell to Italy, the eventual champion. He was a heavy drinker, smoker, and philanderer who was nonetheless beloved by fans of Botafogo and then Corinthians because of his incomparable abilities as a playmaker and finisher. He also led a movement called Corinthians Democracy that brought a social and political consciousness into the locker room, putting him at odds with the way business was done in Brazilian soccer and eventually with the dictatorship that ran the country.
Doctor Socrates is the latest Howler Book Club selection—pick up a copy here (Howler gets a small cut when you purchase with this link). Andrew will be back in about a month for a more expansive conversation about the life of Socrates.
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