In Conversation With Sòcrates

In Conversation With Sòcrates

video by Daniel Devlin

Filmed in July 2010

Exploring the relationship between art, philosophy and football and the way they interact to create new meaning through its confusion.

Socrates was captain of what many people regard as the greatest football team ever never to have won the World Cup. They were the most talented and beautiful team but were beaten by Italy, a much more cynical side. Sócrates was capped sixty times for Brazil between May 1979 and June 1986.

He began playing football professionally in 1974 for Botafogo in Ribeirão Preto, but spent the majority of his career (1978 to 1984) with Corinthians in São Paulo, where he became famous for using football to challenge the existing military dictatorship. During his time there he co-founded the Corinthians Democracy movement. Sócrates and his team mates protested against the regime’s treatment of footballers, and showed support to the wider movement for democratisation, by wearing shirts with ‘Democracia’ written on them during games.

He is a columnist for a number of newspapers and magazines, writing not only about sports, but also politics and economics. He frequently appears on Brazilian TV programmes as a football pundit. Sócrates is currently writing a fiction book about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Sócrates is a doctor of medicine, a rare achievement for a professional footballer (he is a graduate of the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto). Even rarer is the fact that he earned the degree while concurrently playing professional football.

text by David Perez