Part footballing god, part political activist and a qualified physician, Sócrates' career was one of the most interesting in footballing history. 

Despite his effortless brilliance and confidence that made his play appear almost nonchalant, the midfielder's trophy haul was meagre. 

That is not to say that his career was short of high points.

Sócrates' legend was forged by a series of moments that were more important than silverware. He used his platform to help change an entire country for the better and become the embodiment of sophistication and cool for an entire generation of supporters. 

Here are four of the best moments from that bearded genius known as the Doctor. 

1982 Campeonato Paulista Champion

View of a huge banner in homage of the l

​In 1982, Sócrates lifted the Sao Paulo state championships with Corinthians. This alone is an impressive achievement in and of itself, but the side also used their success to aid the fight to democratise Brazil.

Sócrates was a leader of the Corinthians Movement, which was a system of club governance that afforded players voting rights over issues that affected them. Brazil at the time was ruled by an authoritarian military junta, and the club's ideology was a radical challenge to the political status quo. 

During the season, the players organised a number of anti-government gestures, including printing a pro-democracy message on their shirts when the title was secured.  

The movement was supported by key cultural and philosophical figures in Brazil and has been recognised as a contributing factor in the country's return to democracy in 1985.

1982 World Cup

Prior to the 1982 World Cup, Sócrates cut down on his heavy smoking and drinking habits to ensure that he was in optimum condition for the tournament. 

Despite their captain's sacrifices, Brazil fell short - losing to Italy 3-2 in the deciding fixture of the second group stage. It is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest games of all time and that Selecao side is considered to be one of the best teams never to lift the World Cup. 

Underpinned by Sócrates devilish footballing intelligence and supported by the outrageous flair of Zico and the legendary left foot of Éder, Brazil breezed through the first group stage, exhibiting a near perfect display of attacking football along the way. 

The Doctor's personal highlight of the tournament came against the USSR. Picking the ball up just inside the opposition's half, he skipped past one rash challenge, then another, before unleashing a rocket into the top corner.

1983 South American Player of the Year​​

In 1983, Sócrates led Corinthians to a second successive state championship, once again using his platform to lobby criticism at the military government. 

This year also saw the Doctor scoop the South American Player of the Year award - the only time he would ever secure the gong.

The midfielder beat out competition from the likes of Diego Maradona, Zico and Ubaldo Fillol. This was Sócrates at the peak of his footballing and cultural influence. 

1986 World Cup 

By the time the 1986 World Cup rolled around, doubts had began to surface about Sócrates' ability. Edinho had taken over the captaincy and most of his partners in crime from 1982 were either unavailable or unfit. 

Despite this, the Doctor still managed to remind the world of his brilliance. In Selecao's opening game against Spain, Sócrates grabbed the only goal in a 1-0 win to set his side on the path to the knockout stages.  

In the last 16, he converted a first half penalty in a 4-0 win over Poland to help set up a quarter final meeting against France. 

Just like it had been four years prior, the resolute European side would come out on top, with Les Bleus squeezing through on penalties. Sócrates last action in the World Cup would be to miss his spot kick in the shootout - but not even this could cloud his legacy. 

Popular memory of the Doctor that day is of a player three steps ahead of everyone else. Nonchalantly marauding past much younger and fitter players like they weren't there. It was a bittersweet and romantic ending to his remarkable international career. 

 For more from Matt O'Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!

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