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Pele, Maradona, Beckenbauer lead tributes to Carlos Alberto

Rio de Janeiro, Oct 26 (IANS) Legendary footballers Pele, Diego Maradona and Franz Beckenbauer led the tributes for Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres, who died on Tuesday aged 72 after suffering a fatal heart attack.

Playing as a defender, he was capped 53 times by Brazil and netted one of the most iconic goals in World Cup history, finishing off a magnificent team move involving eight different players to score Brazil's fourth in a 4-1 final win over Italy in Mexico City.

The 1970 Brazil side that won the World Cup, which also contained greats Pele, Jairzinho, Tostao and Rivelino, is regarded by many as the finest in history.

Pele wrote on Facebook: "I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend and brother Carlos Alberto. I have so many good memories of our time together as teammates and champions at Santos FC, the Brazil National Team and New York Cosmos.

"We had a winning partnership, and even after football we remained very close. I send my sincere condolences to his family and may his soul Rest in Peace. Dear God, please take care of our "Capitão"."

Germany and Bayern Munich icon Beckenbauer also paid tribute to Alberto in a post on his official Facebook account, which included a photo of the pair together from a charity trip to Brazil in 2013.

"Heidi and I are deeply affected. Carlos Alberto was like a brother to me, one of my best friends!," the 71-year-old, who captained and coached Germany to World Cup titles in 1974 and 1990, wrote.

Argentina legend Maradona said: "My condolences to the family of Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of the unforgettable Brazil 1970. I had the good fortune to face him on several occasions. It was a great person and a great player."

Known for his leadership skills, Alberto's 20-year club career included spells at Fluminense, Santos, Flamengo and the New York Cosmos.

World football body FIFA's President Gianni Infantino expressed his condolences on hearing the news. "FIFA and the world football community are deeply saddened by the death of Carlos Alberto Torres. 'Capita' will be missed both as an amazing player and a great leader. We will forever remember him lifting the Jules Rimet trophy and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends," Infantino said.

"Immortal hotshot. Eternal captain. One of the best representatives of our football, both on and off the field. Rest in peace, Carlos Alberto Torres. My condolences to the family," Ronaldo, who won 1994 and 2002 World Cups with Brazil, paid his tributes on Facebook.

Former Brazil captain Zico said: "My tribute to the eternal capita. My friend, EX-partner and my coach. My last encounter with him was in that tribute that we got together the trophy jk. Rest in peace and my feelings to Alexandre Torres and the whole family."

Two-time World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho wrote: "Carlos Alberto Torres an example of leadership in the field and out of it, a great friend who always treated me with great affection, still remember our meeting in London... rest in peace Eternal Captain!!!"

The Brazilian football federation CBF announced there would now be official mourning for three days.

"It is with huge regret from the CBF that the world of football has been surprised by the death of Carlos Alberto Torres on Tuesday," a CBF statement read.

"Carlos Alberto Torres leaves a huge legacy of achievements and significant collaboration for the development of our football." The statement concluded: "Thank you, Capita. Your story will forever be with us."

--IANS

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